Harvey was convicted of, among other things, armed robbery,
kidnapping, and the sexual assault of Irene Schnaps in 1985. He entered
her garden apartment through an unlocked patio door in a burglary
attempt, but woke Irene while stealing her watch and jewelry. A scuffle
ensued and Harvey beat and choked her to death, for as long as an hour.
Though he's still
sitting on death row, Harvey's death sentence was overturned by the New
Jersey Supreme Court in 1990, saying the jury should have been asked to
decide whether or not Harvey intended to kill Schnaps, or only to cause
17, 1985, the lifeless body of Irene Schnaps, a 37-year-old widow, was
found in the blood-splashed bedroom of her garden apartment in
Plainsboro, New Jersey. She had sustained severe head and facial wounds.
There was evidence that someone had attempted to wipe the body clean. A
pillowcase on the floor bore part of a bloody footprint.
autopsy revealed that Irene Schnaps had sustained fifteen blows to the
head, the largest of which was six inches in length, likely made by a
hammer or a tire iron. Some of the blows fractured her skull, cuasing
direct injury to the brain. Her teeth were knocked out, her jaw was
broken, and there were deep pressure marks on both sides of the neck.
time, Nathaniel Harvey was on parole after serving time for raping and
violently beating a woman in Monroe Township, in Middlesex County in
1979. After the murder of Irene Schnaps, the police searched for her
killer, while also investigating a series of burglaries and sexual
assaults occurring in Middlesex County.
October, 1985, Harvey was arrested after he tried to kidnap a 13 year
old girl from her West Windsor home. Evidence found in his car, DNA and
statements made by Harvey led to his arrest for Irene Schnapsí murder.
was convicted of her murder and was sentenced to death by a jury. He is
presently on death row, while also serving time for another kidnapping,
rape and robbery which occurred in Mercer County.
Is Court Killing Death Penalty In New Jersey?