Tuesday, October 14, 2014
Thanks for the party, mom.
"It's so devastating. You never know what people are going through," stated Ruan Tilghman-Pugh.
Gwendolyn Pratt, 64, was found dead in her home in Atlantic City NJ at around 6:30 am on October 12 2014. Her son, Steven Pratt, 45, was arrested at the scene and is being held on $1 million dollars cash bail. She had just held a welcome home party for him not even 48 hours before because Steven had not been home for 30 years.
Steven had just been released on Oct 10 2014 after spending 30 years in jail for killing a neighbor when he was 15 years old. He was convicted of killing his next door neighbor, Michael Anderson in 1984 after Anderson had asked Pratt and some friends to leave a hallway because they were making noise. Pratt left but returned to Anderson's apartment with a lead pipe which Anderson took from and hit Pratt in the face with. Pratt then returned to Anderson's apartment with a handgun he had borrowed from a friend and shot Anderson twice, in the face and shoulder. Anderson died from the wounds several days later. Pratt was tried as an adult and received 30 years which had to be served before he was eligible to be released.
The autopsy revealed that Gwendolyn died from massive blunt injuries to the head. Pratt was overheard asking if he could stay with a cousin sometime before Sunday morning. He evidently was having some sort of difficulty with an aunt who was also staying at his mother's house. The aunt, who he referred to as Aunt Ce Ce, was coming down hard on him he felt and he wanted to live somewhere else.
Evidently, Pratt will be heading back to prison for murder again and I bet there will not be another welcome home party in his future.
Update Oct 15 2014:
"I have no lawyer. I have nobody," stated Steven Pratt.
Steven Pratt stood before a judge for arraignment on Oct 14 2014, head down and sobbing while he explained that he did not want a trial and did not have a lawyer. The judge continued to read the charges against him after cautioning him not to speak until he had a lawyer present. Pratt continued by saying that he had no one and he was guilty of murdering his mother. He certainly is correct in stating that because I don't see how he could have any supporters, even among those who had visited him over the years he was in prison.
It has been reported that Gwendolyn had worked at the Resorts Casino Hotel since 1989 and had lived a quiet, simple life in Atlantic City NJ. She had been excited about his release and had taken him to I Hop right after he had been released. His relatives have stated that Pratt had been upbeat through the years when they had visited him.
I am sure that Pratt has nothing left now but to explain why he killed his mother. It certainly is a lost cause to try and drag this out for a trial since he seems to genuinely feel the guilt of what he has done. I don't believe that he did plan to murder her but it may just be that he lashed out in anger in the heat of a moment.