Steven Goff of Ventnor, 41, told a judge he was prepared to plead guilty immediately to killing Frederick Hart, 15, but was told he could not do so at his first court appearance, The Press of Atlantic City reported. Goff confessed to the killing Monday after showing up at the police station in Galloway at 6 a.m.
Goff wept during Tuesday's hearing. He was wearing an orange prison uniform with his hands cuffed to a waist chain.
"I did the crime," he said.
Superior Court Judge Michael Donio interrupted him with a warning any statements he made could be used against him. Goff said he did not want a lawyer and hoped the proceedings would go quickly.
Hart, known as Ricky, was a freshman at Absegami High School in Galloway in 1990, where Goff was a senior. Hart disappeared in May, and his body was found by a hunter in December 1991.
At the time, the cause of death could not be determined. Police said Goff gave them details about the crime that would only have been known to the killer and said he stabbed Hart.