A New York man charged with strangling a former Hollywood High School teacher pleaded not guilty Monday to murder.
Scott Kratlian, 44, was charged in the killing of Harry Major, 82, a former Los Angeles Unified School District teacher who was reportedly popular with students. He was found dead Feb. 12 at his home in the 1400 block of North Vista Street, police said.
Kratlian faces up to 56 years to life in prison if convicted. Prosecutors say Major and Kratlian were penpals while Kratlian was in a New York prison serving time for manslaughter. He was released a few months ago and came to Los Angeles.
Kratlian was being held in lieu of $1.08-million bail and scheduled to be back in court March 17 to set a preliminary hearing.
Major resigned from L.A. Unified in 1984, district officials said.