A murder suspect accused of strangling to death a retired teacher became pen pals with his alleged victim while the suspect was serving a prison sentence for manslaughter in New York, prosecutors said on Monday.
Scott Kratlian, 44, has pleaded not guilty to one count of murder, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office said.
He was convicted in 1993 for manslaughter out of New York County, officials said.
Kratlian, also known as Scott Porter, is accused in the killing of Harry Major on Feb. 10 in the 1400 block of North Vista Street in Hollywood.
If convicted, Kratlian faces up to 56 years to life in prison.
Kratlian was released in late 2013 and at some point came to Los Angeles, prosecutors said.
Major, 82, died of asphyxiation, coroner's officials said.
Major taught English for nearly 30 years at Hollywood High School in Tinseltown after Hollywood's "Golden Era."
Former students remembered him as a legendary educator who was pivotal in helping shape the lives of celebrities and non-celebrities alike.