Rusty Sneiderman was shot and killed outside a Dunwoody daycare in Nov. 2010. Despite her vehement denial of any involvement in Sneiderman’s death, his wife Andrea then stood charged with his murder, as well as numerous charges of perjury and giving false statements to law enforcement.
DeKalb County, Georgia prosecutors allege that she arranged for her boss — with whom she may have been having an affair — to gun down her husband outside of their son’s preschool in Dunwoody, Georgia.
Just before jury selection, prosecutors dropped the murder charges and after a full trial, a jury convicted Sneiderman of four counts of perjury, hindering the apprehension of a criminal, concealment of material facts, and three counts of giving false statements. She was found not guilty of three counts of perjury and one count of giving a false statement.
Andrea Sneiderman was sentenced to 5 years in prison on August, 20 2013, but will be allowed to redeem time served.
In a sixteen-count indictment (Sneiderman’s third indictment, as the previous two were found factually lacking by the DeKalb County Superior Court) Andrea Sneiderman faced one count each of malice murder, felony murder and aggravated assault, along with seven counts of perjury and four counts of giving false statements. She also was indicted on one count each of concealing material facts and hindering the apprehension of a criminal, that is, Henry Neuman, her former boss at GE Energy and the man convicted of Rusty Sneiderman’s killing.
However, on July 26, 2013, DeKalb County Superior Court Judge Gregory A. Adams agreed to drop the charges of malice murder, felony murder, and aggravated assault at the request of District Attorney Robert James. Sneiderman still faced trial on the lesser charges of perjury, giving false statements, concealing material facts, and hindering the apprehension of a criminal.
In the months following Rusty Sneiderman’s shocking murder outside of his son’s preschool, much of the public attention focused on the shooter, Hemy Neuman. Neuman was Andrea Sneiderman’s boss at GE Energy, and the two of them traveled frequently for work. The story was a classic love triangle – guy loves girl, girl is married, guy kills girl’s husband. The prosecution had Andrea Sneiderman, the apparently grieving widow and mother of two fatherless children, prepped, poised and ready to testify at Neuman’s trial. She was their star witness.
Against the advice of her own lawyer, Sneiderman took the stand to help convict the man who shot and killed her husband. As soon as she started talking, things began to go very, very badly for her.
Lawyers on both sides of the courtroom worked to catch her in lies. For example, she told police she learned of her husband’s death at the hospital, although her father-in-law and a close friend both called her beforehand to inform her that Rusty had been killed. Having established this falsehood, the prosecutor and Neuman’s lawyer characterized Sneiderman as a woman who could not be trusted, who knew more about the killing than she let on, and who masterminded her husband’s death.
“The gun was in Hemy’s hand, but the trigger, I respectfully suggest, was pulled by Andrea Sneiderman,” said Neuman’s defense lawyer, Doug Peters, in his closing argument.
As soon as a guilty verdict came back for Neuman, DeKalb County prosecutors went back to the drawing board and put together an indictment for Sneiderman as well. The fact that Sneiderman seemed to know of her husband’s death before law enforcement even broke the news to her officially is essential to their theory of the case, as are phone records showing that she called Neuman following the killing.
Neuman was convicted and found mentally ill. His explanation for the killing was that he was having an affair with Sneiderman and killed her husband to protect their children. He also told investigators that he was instructed to kill Rusty Sneiderman by an angel who sounds like Barry White and an angel who looks like Olivia Newton-John. The mentally-ill Neuman even told police that he believed he might be the father of the Sneiderman children, despite having only known Andrea Sneiderman since early 2010.
Sneiderman has repeatedly denied an affair with Neuman, including during her testimony at his trial. In Sneiderman’s trial testimony she said that she rebuffed Neuman’s advances and believes that was his motive for killing her husband. E-mails exchanged between Sneiderman and Neuman tend to show Neuman’s advances without a response from Sneiderman.
However, prosecutors point to the 1,500 phone calls and text messages between Sneiderman and her supervisor and their many business trips, alleging that a sexual relationship existed between the two. There may also be evidence that Sneiderman deleted some of the texts between herself and Neuman on the day of Rusty Sneiderman’s death.
Sneiderman faced charges ranging from felony murder and aggravated assault to several counts of perjury. DeKalb County Superior Court Judge Gregory Adams dismissed four of the non-murder charges against her, however, in a hearing preceding trial because the charges were not factually well-founded. The DeKalb District Attorney then went back to the drawing board, fleshed out their allegations, and re-charged Sneiderman with similar crimes.
The crux of the allegations against Sneiderman is the affair with Neuman, her boss, and the supposed plot to get money from her husband’s life insurance policy. Sneiderman allegedly arranged to have Neuman kill her husband so they could split the policy. DeKalb County District Attorneys have also posed the theory that Sneiderman was romantically entangled with another man, Joseph Dell, who may have also inspired the murder.
Dell allegedly told Sneiderman that he loved her during a jailhouse telephone conversation, but thus far, no information has emerged that Dell and Sneiderman were romantically involved before the murder. Then again, there’s a gag order in place on the attorneys, so the information available to the media is limited to what is filed or said out loud in open court.
On July 26, 2013, on the eve of jury selection, DeKalb County Superior Court Judge Gregory A. Adams agreed to drop the charges of malice murder, felony murder and aggravated assault at the request of District Attorney Robert James. Sneiderman is still scheduled to face trial on the lesser charges of perjury, giving false statements, concealing material facts, and hindering the apprehension of a criminal.
UPDATE: On August 19, 2013, Andrea Sneiderman was found guilty of four counts of perjury, hindering the apprehension of a criminal, concealment of material facts, and three counts of giving false statements. She was found not guilty of three counts of perjury and one count of giving a false statement. According to at least one juror, identified as Juror No. 57, they found specifically that Sneiderman had some type of romantic relationship with Neuman and lied about it.
Andrea Sneiderman: The Dunwoody mother of two who was accused of conspiring to kill her husband with her boss and alleged lover, Henry Neuman. The murder charges were dropped on the eve of trial.
Russell “Rusty” Sneiderman: Rusty Sneiderman was a Dunwoody businessman and a beloved father of two who was tragically slain outside of his son’s daycare.
Hemy Neuman: Andrea Sneiderman’s boss, who was convicted of Rusty Sneiderman’s murder. He was arrested some months after the killing when prosecutors matched the description of a vehicle driven by the shooter with a car Neuman had rented. He was sentenced to life in prison.
Judge Gregory A. Adams: DeKalb County Superior Court
Stone Mountain Judicial Circuit.
Robert James Jr.: The DeKalb County District Attorney who is prosecuting the case against Andrea Sneiderman.
John Petrey: One of Andrea Sneiderman’s attorneys, a respected member of the Georgia defense bar, who has received numerous awards and accolades for his commitment to justice.
J. Tom Morgan: One of Andrea Sneiderman’s defense attorneys.
Don Sneiderman: The father of Rusty Sneiderman who said that Andrea Sneiderman lied and actually knew of the death of her husband before arriving to the hospital.
Joseph Dell: Dell, a friend of the Sneidermans, apparently developed an intimate relationship with Andrea before Neuman killed Rusty. When he told Andrea he loved her in a jailhouse conversation, prosecutors pounced, believing it showed Andrea’s infidelity. However, no information yet exists that their relationship began before Rusty’s death or that Dell had anything to do with the murder. He may be a prosecution witness.
Christine Olivera: A bartender who testified she witnessed Hemy Neuman dancing affectionately with Andrea a month before the killing.
Shayna Citron: A friend of the Sneiderman family.
Andrea Sneiderman questioned by the Prosecution
July 29, 2013: Well, we saw that coming, huh? Gag order or not, nothing can stop the rumor mill in a case like this one. The homicide charges have been dropped, but the trial will continue as scheduled on Sneiderman’s dozen or so remaining perjury charges.
The perjury should be an easy thing to prove. Sneiderman’s statements to police and on the stand during Neuman’s trial repeatedly contradicted each other. She still faces serious jail time if convicted for lying under oath, but chances are her attorney can successfully show enough mitigating evidence to get that down to a low term sentence.
In mitigation, her attorney will try to show that Sneiderman was nervous and confused following her husband’s death. He will paint the picture of Sneiderman as a bewildered, grieving widow who finds herself in the middle of an investigation she does not understand.
The real thing to look out for as we follow this trial, however, is whether evidence comes out during this trial that might tend to show guilt for the homicide. If there is, then the prosecution will lose no time in filing homicide charges against Sneiderman.
Fourth time’s the charm?
By: Kelly S. Gerner, Criminal Defense Attorney
July 24, 2013: With jury selection just around the corner, rumors are swirling that the homicide charges against Sneiderman will be dropped.
From the beginning the evidence against Sneiderman was flimsy. The alleged affair with Neuman was only corroborated by sources that led back to Neuman himself. Neuman’s own statement is that he acted alone — well, the statement is that he acted at the direction of a demon who sounded like Barry White and an angel who looked like Olivia Newton-John. Really, everything coming from Neuman lacked credibility.
Meanwhile, Sneiderman suffered credibility problems herself, which have led to the subsequent filing of perjury charges against her. However, perjury isn’t homicide. Lying under oath is not a joke, but it’s not the same as killing your husband. And it seems like DeKalb County prosecutors just can’t prove that Sneiderman was the instigator behind her husband’s death.
The rumors haven’t been confirmed yet, but we would not be surprised if the homicide charges are dropped at Friday’s evidentiary hearing or immediately before Monday’s jury selection.
However, a trial may proceed regardless. The perjury charges still stand and are eminently verifiable given that all of Sneiderman’s official statements have been recorded. It stands to reason that the perjury case will go forward as scheduled, and if new testimony comes out at trial that does implicate Sneiderman in her husband’s killing, then the prosecution can attempt to get their homicide conviction in a new case.
The DeKalb County District Attorney’s office appears to be basing their entire case on Andrea Sneiderman’s conflicting statements regarding when she was informed of her husband’s killing. If the prosecution can and definitively prove that Sneiderman knew her husband had been killed before anyone had a chance to tell her, then they will win their conviction and Sneiderman will suffer a conviction for accomplice liability.
However, the timeline and facts here are quite muddled. The day care, Sneiderman’s father-in-law and a friend of the Sneidermans all informed Andrea of Rusty’s murder, so the prosecution will have to work around the specific timing details of those conversations – many of which may be lost to memory given how long ago the day of Rusty’s death was.
If the prosecution cannot prove that timeline to a jury’s satisfaction, they are left with motive – the insurance money – and the alleged affair. Those two factors may not be enough to convince a jury that a woman would have her husband killed outside of her child’s daycare. That fact alone – what woman would ever do that? – might be Andrea Sneiderman’s saving grace.
There is another element to this case that is not getting a lot of discussion. The judges in DeKalb County do not seem to think the DA’s office has a strong case. They have thrown out part of two indictments, which is rare in any case, and they also have permitted Sneiderman to be on house arrest instead of in custody pending trial. Seems to us that no judge anywhere, much less in the state of Georgia, would let a woman out on bail if he thought there was compelling evidence of guilt.
We would love to hear your theories about how the prosecution could prevail or why Sneiderman might get an acquittal. Wild About Trial is watching this case with a keen eye.