Schenectady County

Alleged killer has violent past, jail time

When Richard Heinze Jr. was booked at the Schenectady County Jail on Friday, charged in the killing
Richard Heinze Jr.
Richard Heinze Jr.

When Richard Heinze Jr. was booked at the Schenectady County Jail on Friday, charged in the killing of a 30-year-old Albany woman, it was a process he was well familiar with.

In fact, it was marked the 17th time he had been through the jail doors since 1994.

None of the cases appear to have risen to felonies. But the violence that police said killed Mary Jeoney has surfaced against other women twice before, Schenectady City Court records show.

And one of those cases has similarities with the current one, down to the reason for the fight. But the earlier incident had a different outcome.

Heinze, 35, remained in the Schenectady County Jail on Wednesday without bail, charged with the strangulation death of Jeoney.

He is scheduled to appear in Schenectady City Court today, though the hearing is expected to be postponed, his attorney, Sven Paul, said Wednesday. Paul declined to comment further.

Schenectady County District Attorney Robert Carney added a few details Wednesday. The killing, he said, was sparked by an argument over money. Jeoney might have accused Heinze of taking money from her and told him she wanted it back.

Carney also provided more details on how her body was hidden. She was found in a corner of Heinze’s father’s garbage-strewn Stanley Street basement. Cold air, along with insulation and wooden planks, kept anyone from noticing the body.

Heinze is accused of killing Jeoney on Jan. 23. Albany police, following up on her worried family’s missing persons report, zeroed in on him.

Once he was questioned, Heinze allegedly made admissions that led to his arrest and to the body. Jeoney’s body was finally discovered early Friday.

City police gave a Colonie address for Heinze, but court records show him as having lived much of the last decade at various addresses in Schenectady.

CRIMINAL HISTORY

Friday’s arrest appears to be his first since a criminal impersonation charge in 2006 when he was accused of lying to police about his identity.

At least four of his previous run-ins with police involved women, including assault arrests in 2001 and 2006 and two charges of violating orders of protection.

He had other legal disputes with women, including failure to support his children, the number of which is unclear. Records show they have gone without financial support from Heinze for a decade. Heinze, who has been described as an unemployed roofer, is behind on his child support payments by more than $100,000, county records show. That is an amount that state officials said is 10 times the norm.

The 2001 assault case involved the mother of one of his children, and the tossing of that child.

It was a 2006 incident with a 44-year-old city woman that had many parallels to the current case.

On April 30 of that year, an argument over money issues soon escalated into a confrontation, and the woman wanted to leave. But Heinze wouldn’t let her, according to an account in court papers.

He grabbed the phone, holding her against her will. He punched her, twisted her head, pulled her hair and choked her numerous times. He also told her he could kill her and her whole family, according to court papers.

That woman, a 44-year-old city resident, escaped with a swollen face, bruises and a bite mark to her arm.

JAIL TIME

In the 2006 incident, Heinze was sentenced to 60 days in jail.

In a 2001 assault case, he received a sentence of nine months after pleading guilty to assault.

Police were called to a Hattie Street home July 15, 2001, after receiving reports of an attack on his one-time girlfriend. Heinze was accused of punching her several times and biting her in the face. The bite broke the 20-year-old’s skin and left visible teeth marks, according to papers filed in court.

When police arrived, he responded by trying to flee. He was accused of doing so by throwing his son, then 9 months old, several feet through the air to the child’s mother, and then running.

He led police on a brief foot chase and struggled with officers when they caught up, according to the account.

That incident apparently led to an order of protection, an order he was accused of violating twice, including once in April 2002, when he was accused of going to the woman’s work and to her home. At the home, he stood outside, continually waving at their son and calling his name.

Jeoney was mother of a 7-year-old boy, police said, and it was uncommon for her to leave for more than a day. She is believed to have met Heinze only weeks before.

In a MySpace page linked to her and inactive for more than a year, Jeoney described the child as the best thing to come into her life.

The 2006 killing of another mother, Hillary Downey, and Downey’s child Romello, has sparked calls for enhanced felony charges for repeat misdemeanor offenses. The two were killed by another man with a lengthy record of misdemeanors.

Downey’s parents have advocated a law that would make an offender’s fourth Class A misdemeanor in 10 years a felony punishable by up to four years in prison.

Told of Heinze’s record on Wednesday, Downey’s mother Kathy Cherry called it another reason for the proposed law to be passed.

“We’re just too lenient,” she said. “When they’re caught once or twice, they’ll do it again. It’s just going to keep happening until government recognizes this as a more serious problem.”

Categories: Schenectady County

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