NYC Child Killer Released After 15 Years
New York Times/June 30, 2004
Pine City, N.Y. — Infamous child killer Joel Steinberg was released from prison Wednesday after 15 years behind bars for the 1987 beating death of his 6-year-old adopted daughter.
The former lawyer, now 63, served two-thirds of the maximum 25-year manslaughter sentence. He has continued to deny responsibility for the girl’s death.
Steinberg left the upstate prison with $104 in earnings from his inmate account and was picked up in a limousine by defense attorney Darnay Hoffmann.
Lisa Steinberg died in November 1987, three days after a vicious beating in the Greenwich Village apartment where she lived with Steinberg and his former lover, Hedda Nussbaum.
Nussbaum called police after finding the 6-year-old naked, bruised and not breathing. Nussbaum, initially a co-defendant, herself had a split lip, broken ribs, a broken nose and a fractured jaw she said were inflicted by Steinberg.
According to Nussbaum’s testimony, Steinberg struck Lisa for staring at him, then ignored her injuries and smoked cocaine.
Nussbaum, now 59, who said she would flee New York rather than face Steinberg again, has quit her job at a domestic violence center, the Journal News reported Wednesday. Her small white house in Carmel was empty Tuesday.
Hoffmann has said he offered Steinberg a free apartment and a $250-a-week job with a local cable television show. Steinberg will have to make regular visits to a parole officer through October 2012. Now disbarred, he worked in prison as a paralegal.