Child Molester Dies in Prison

pratt DOC. DOA
Bruce Lee Pratt (DPS photo)

A convicted child molester was found dead in his dormitory at Columbus Correctional this morning (Wednesday).

Bruce Pratt, 42, was found unresponsive at 4:54 a.m., according to John Bull, spokesman for the Dept. of Public Safety.

“Staff promptly began life saving measures, including CPR, and called EMS,” Bull said. “He was transported to an area hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 6 a.m.”

A medical condition is suspected as the cause of death, Bull said, but the incident is being investigated by law enforcement as well as the Dept. of Corrections.

“There is no indication of foul play,” Bull said, “but this is routine. We want to be sure everything was done right.”

Prison and court records show Pratt was convicted of first degree sexual offense with a minor and multiple counts of taking indecent liberties with a child under six years of age. He was found guilty in 2003, and sentenced to 35 years, three months and 15 days in prison. He was eligible for release in 2030. The case was tried in Dare County.

Prison records show he had multiple infractions, including possession of contraband, lock tampering, theft, drug possession, fighting and disobeying orders.

An appeals transcript shows Pratt molested his live-in girlfriend’s child multiple times in July and August 2001. Pratt told the court he was on pain medication at the time for an injury, and was unaware of committing the acts or signing a confession.

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Jefferson Weaver is the managing editor of and news director for WTXY radio. He can be reached at 910.632.4965, or by email at