According to court documents Harvey Robinson was seventeen years old when he would murder Joan Burghardt. Robinson would spend eight months in jail for a burglary charge and when he was released he would murder fifteen year old Charlotte Schmoyer and a month later would murder Jessica Jean Fortney
Harvey Robinson was arrested, convicted and sentenced to death on all three murders. However because he was seventeen at the time of the first murder he would be resentenced to life in prison on that murder however the other two death sentences remained
Harvey Robinson Photos
Harvey Robinson Now
Parole Number: 303DL
Date of Birth: 12/06/1974
Height: 5′ 08″
Current Location: PHOENIX
Permanent Location: PHOENIX
Committing County: LEHIGH
Harvey Robinson Case
The Lehigh Valley’s only serial killer will have a chance at parole for one of his murders, although it’s unlikely he’ll ever be released from prison.
Harvey Miguel Robinson was re-sentenced on Tuesday to 35 years to life for the murder of Joan Burghardt, a 29-year-old nurse’s aide. He was convicted in 1994 of killing Burghardt; Charlotte Schmoyer, a 15-year-old newspaper carrier; and Jessica Jean Fortney, a 47-year-old grandmother.
Robinson is 44 but was a teenager at the time of the three murders.
He successfully appealed his life sentence in the Burghardt case on the basis that he was a juvenile and that the penalty was too harsh for a young person.
Robinson was initially sentenced to death for all three cases. He agreed to a life sentence for the Schmoyer case and is appealing his death sentence in the Fortney case, according to defense attorney Gavin Holihan and Lehigh County Assistant District Attorney Jeff Burd.
Burd considered arguing for a life sentence in the Burghardt case but decided to make the 35-to-life offer given the uphill battle prosecutors have had in other cases overturning appeals for juveniles previously sentenced to life.
“It puts this case to rest, finally,” Burd said Tuesday. In exchange for the sentence, Robinson waives his right to further appeals in the case.
Even if all three murder convictions were somehow overthrown, Robinson could remain in prison for more than 100 years for additional convictions, including the rapes of his victims.
Robinson said he’ll consider a request from Lehigh County Judge Edward Reibman to donate his brain to science
Robinson’s alleged brain damage has been an appeal issue for decades. The judge told Robinson donating his brain to science is one way for some small good to come from his horrific crimes. The judge noted the study of sports-related concussions and the study of the brain itself has come a long way since Robinson’s convictions
Asked whether Robinson thinks about the harm he inflicted on the community, Robinson had no comment for the judge.
Asked whether he would consider donated his brain to science, Robinson mumbled a response. Holihan later said Robinson “will investigate whether that’s something his religion will permit.” Robinson is a devout Muslim, Holihan said.
Holihan said he’s not sure whether dissecting Robinson’s brain decades after he committed his crimes will yield much understanding of how serial killers’ brains are wired, but he said it wouldn’t hurt to try.
“I can understand the request,” Holihan said
Robinson appeared in court in a wheelchair. He was wearing glasses and had his hair tied up in a ponytail on the crown of his head. He smiled at a front row of court supporters as he was wheeled away. He will return to the State Correctional Institution at Phoenix in Montgomery County