Jake Nolan trial: Did $1.5M life-insurance policy trigger sledgehammer and stab attack against New York shrink?
- Jake Nolan, 21, allegedly attacked Michael Weiss, 38, in his Manhattan office last year
- Attack came just four days after Weiss made Nolan's aunt, Pamela Buchbinder, beneficiary of his life-insurance policy
- Weiss and Buchbinder have a six-year-old son together and Nolan is the child's Godfather
- Nolan allegedly swiped at Weiss with the sledgehammer then stabbed him eight times
By Helen Pow
PUBLISHED: 08:41 EST, 19 August 2013 | UPDATED: 08:42 EST, 19 August 2013
Investigators believe a $1.5 million life-insurance policy could have been the motive for a savage sledgehammer and knife attack on a New York City psychiatrist last year.
Jake Nolan, 21, is accused of unleashing on shrink Michael Weiss, 38, in his Upper West Side office with the heavy weapon and a kitchen knife.
But, just four days before the attack, Weiss had reluctantly changed the beneficiary on his hefty insurance policy to Nolan's aunt, fellow psychiatrist Pamela Buchbinder, 43, with whom Weiss shares a young son.
Nolan was living with Buchbinder in her Chelsea home at the time of the attack. He is also the Godfather of the pair's child.
Crime scene: Jake Nolan, 21, is accused of unleashing on psychiatrist Michael Weiss, 38, in his Upper West Side office, pictured, with the sledgehammer and a kitchen knife
'The ink was still wet (on the policy) when Nolan attacked him,' Weiss' lawyer, Roland Acevedo, told The New York Post, which has obtained family-court records proving the change in beneficiary.
'It's like a "20/20" episode. It sure looks like his son's mother put Jake up to this for the insurance money.'
According to the newspaper, the Manhattan district attorney's office is now looking closely at the possible link. Sources told The Post investigators were trying to determine whether Buchbinder was with Nolan when he purchased the sledgehammer from a Manhattan Home Deport store.
Weapon: Nolan allegedly swung the sledgehammer at Weiss before stabbing him eight times with the knife (stock photo)
They have also quizzed Weiss and requested a copy of the life-insurance policy, a police source said.
'The circumstances are suspicious, and we're looking into it,' the source told The Post.
Weiss finally agreed to put Buchbinder's name on his insurance policy on November 8, 2012, after weeks of badgering, Acevedo said.
In the morning on November 12, Nolan allegedly arrived at Weiss' midtown Manhattan office carrying a black duffel bag and an argument about paying for the six-year-old boy's education ensued.
He then asked to go to the restroom and allegedly came out swinging the sledgehammer over Weiss's head as the psychiatrist hid at his desk.
Nolan then pulled out a kitchen knife and proceeded to stab Weiss in his back and chest eight times, police said.
The shrink managed to wrestle the knife off Nolan and strike him once before he escaped and begged for help.
'(Weiss) crawled into the hallway covered in blood and screamed, "Help me! Help me!"' Acevedo said.
Nolan was arrested and is now awaiting trial on charges of attempted murder and criminal possession of a weapon.
Nolan's lawyer Steven Brounstein declined to comment to MailOnline.
MailOnline contacted Buchbinder but she didn't return a request for comment.
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