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Man convicted in murder-for-hire in Long Beach

After fatally stabbing the victim, the killer was caught outside her home by police who mistakenly thought the intruder was a burglar.

March 15, 2007|John Spano | Times Staff Writer

A hit man has been convicted of stabbing a woman to death in her Long Beach home as police waited outside, hoping to catch the intruder who they mistakenly believed was a burglar.

A Long Beach Superior Court jury deliberated just 30 minutes Tuesday before convicting Nicholas Harvey of first-degree murder for financial gain in the slaying of Lynn Schockner, 50. Harvey faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.

He will appeal the verdict, said his attorney, Anthony Patalano.

Harvey, 25, testified that heavy use of steroids had altered his personality, heightening his aggressiveness. He said he did not remember how Schockner died. "There was no evidence you lose your ability to reason, despite what Harvey testified," said the prosecutor, Deputy Dist. Atty. Cyndi Barnes.

Schockner was fatally stabbed Nov. 8, 2004, as part of a plot allegedly hatched by her estranged husband, Manfred, with whom she shared custody of a teenage son.

Manfred Schockner, now 66, has been charged with paying $50,000 for the hit. He will be tried later this year for allegedly hiring Harvey to stage a burglary and kill his wife.

On the day of the slaying, one of Lynn Schockner's neighbors saw Harvey loitering in the alley behind her house and called police. Six officers responded and surrounded the house. Schockner saw the officers through a window and left the house to speak with them. When police asked her to let them into her backyard, she went back inside to get a gate key.

Harvey slashed her repeatedly, inflicting fatal wounds on her neck. He was arrested when he tried to flee by jumping over the backyard fence.

john.spano@latimes.com

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