Man Arrested for Killing Mom 48 Hours After He's Freed From Prison

steven prattThis is just tragic beyond words. Apparently, on Sunday, a man who was convicted for murder was out of jail for less than just 48 hours before he beat his mother to death in her Atlantic City, New Jersey, home.

According to the authorities, Gwendolyn Pratt, 64, died from massive head injuries. Her son, Steven, 45, just let out of jail, was reportedly responsible.

Steven was paroled on Friday; he had served 30 years in prison for shooting his neighbor to death. He even had a huge party thrown by family and friends in his honor to commemorate being let out of jail.


Steven was arrested and held at Altantic County jail on $1 million bail.

Pratt was first put in prison because of a shooting that took place in 1984. He was only 15 years old, but he had shot a neighbor in the face and shoulder, and he was tried as an adult. He was convicted in 1986 and sentenced to 30 years in prison.

Per court records, Pratt and his neighbor, Michael Anderson, argued after Pratt and his friends were being noisy and refused to leave an appartment hallway. Pratt went to Anderson's place with a lead pipe, but Anderson was able to subdue him. When Pratt returned with a handgun, he killed Anderson.

More from The Stir: Pregnant Teen Charged in Mom's Murder Has Strange Excuse For the Killing

What can one say about all this? It's clear that the system failed Pratt; he knew of nothing except prison life since he was 15 years old and the sentence did absolutely nothing to rehabilitate him. He served his time yet was still allegedly violent, even against his own mother. And poor Gwendolyn. If she and her son were close -- then again, even if they weren't -- she was probably thrilled that he was finally getting out of prison so they could try to be a family again. Most likely she was involved in the welcome home party and couldn't wait to bond with her son enjoying his freedom after 30 long years. Then she paid the ultimate price because all that time in prison did nothing to help Steven.

There are so many larger questions involving all the "what if"s in this sad, tragic story, but it's obvious, if what's being reported turns out to be true, that Pratt shouldn't be free and needed help before being let loose in society.

Do you think anything could have been done to prevent Steven from allegedly committing murder a second time?


Image via NJ Department of Corrections

Read More >