A witness in the trial of a Georgia man accused of killing the husband of his alleged lover testified today that the woman's reaction to her husband's death was "unusual, to say the least."
Hemy Neuman, 49, is charged with shooting and killing Andrea Sneiderman's husband, Rusty Sneiderman, 36, in the parking lot of the Sneidermans' son's preschool in November 2010.
Neuman, Andrea Sneiderman's former boss at GE Energy, has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.
A husband and wife who witnessed the shooting in the parking lot of a Dunwoody day care testified about the chaotic scene, including Andrea Sneiderman's arrival at the facility.
"She sped in so fast, swung the door open and was screaming, 'What happened?'" Aliyah Stotter testified today. "Afterwards, I told my husband, 'She didn't have a tear in her eye.'"
When prosecutor Don Geary asked Stotter if she thought Sneiderman's reaction was unusual, Stotter replied, "Yes, I mean, I was crying."
Stotter's husband, Dr. Craig Kuhlmeier, was pulling into a nearby post office when he heard gun shots. He told his wife he thought someone had been shot and saw someone, now believed to be Neuman, "casually walking back to his vehicle."
"When I went up to the victim, he was bleeding out," Kuhlmeier testified today.
Stotter said, "His eyes were still open and he was gasping for air. There was quite a lot of blood everywhere. He was laying on a slant, so you saw blood running from the school towards the pediatrician's office."
Andrea Sneiderman testified earlier this week that no one at the day care would tell her what happened to her husband and she did not know he had been shot and killed until she went to the hospital.
"I pulled up my vehicle to caution tape, police cars and Rusty's car," Sneiderman told the court. "I fell out of the vehicle and was picked up and taken inside."
An Atlanta Medical Center doctor, Dr. Mark Waterman, who was part of the team that attempted to resuscitate Rusty Sneiderman, today described his encounter with Andrea Sneiderman after revival attempts failed and her husband was pronounced dead.
"Not emotional, not crying, screaming, or wanting to know what happened," Waterman testified of Andrea Sneiderman. "Her first request was for a child psychologist."
Waterman said she wanted a psychologist to "inform her children of his passing." He described the reaction as "unusual, to say the least."
When the attorney asked Waterman if he had ever had someone ask for a child psychiatrist before, Waterman said, "No, never had that question before. And I'm used to talking to people whose family members have expired all the time."
Prosecutors have yet to say where they are headed with their line of questioning that has returned to Andrea Sneiderman several times.
Earlier today, Sneiderman was barred from the courthouse for the duration of the trial after an inappropriate interaction with a witness.
Prosecutor Geary asked the Atlanta court for Andrea Sneiderman to be removed from the courtroom and courthouse for the duration of the trial.
"She hugged and kissed a witness in front of the jury," Geary said. "The investigator told her [Sneiderman] not to, she pushed him [the investigator] away."
The witness was Sneiderman's close friend of 10 years, Shayna Citron, who testified Thursday. Citron's testimony cast doubt on Sneiderman's statement to the court, in which she said she did not know her husband had been shot and killed until 11 a.m., when she arrived at the hospital.
Citron testified that she received a call from Sneiderman telling her what happened at 10:30 a.m., which would mean that Sneiderman knew about her husband's death earlier than she claimed.
"[Andrea Sneiderman] then went in the hallway and told the witness that since she didn't believe her, that she wasn't her friend anymore," Geary said. "The display in the courtroom was all for show."
Geary said that Sneiderman then went into the state's witness room after being told not to do so. He said witnesses from GE asked him that Sneiderman not be in the courtroom for their testimony.
"She is making statements during court in the gallery, and I hear her -- and I'm hard of hearing --- saying, 'That's not true,' 'That's a lie,' 'You weren't there,'" Geary said. "I've been tempted to turn and snap and tell her to shut up, but that wouldn't be appropriate."
Sneiderman has been reacting vocally and physically throughout the trial, letting out sobs and shaking her head during opening statements earlier this week.
"She's not following our instructions, she's not following the court's instructions," the prosecutor said. "Everyone has too much going here to have for, for her own purpose, have a mistrial. Our purpose is to convict the man who shot Rusty. I don't want a mistrial."
Geary asked the judge for two things: that Sneiderman be removed from the courthouse and that she be reinstructed that if she contacts any witnesses, there will be consequences.
When Neuman's defense attorney, Bob Rubin, was given the opportunity to weigh in, he said, "What Mr. Geary has laid out is sufficient reason to bar her from the courtroom. We would bar her."
Judge Gregory Adams listened to both sides and agreed to remove Sneiderman "so that I can conduct this trial in a fair and just matter," he said.
"She should be removed and should not have any contact, directly or indirectly, with any witness in this matter," Adams said. "Do not communicate on any level whatsoever."
In addition to Citron, Andrea Sneiderman's father-in-law, Don Sneiderman, testified that she knew about her husband's death earlier than she claims.
Rusty Sneiderman's father told the court that he received a phone call on the day of the incident from Andrea Sneiderman at 9:30 a.m. saying that his son had been shot.
That account conflicted with Andrea Sneiderman's testimony Wednesday, when she told the court that she first heard that her husband was shot when she arrived at the hospital at 11 a.m.
"I didn't know what happened to Rusty until I got to the emergency room," Sneiderman, who has denied that she had an affair with Neuman and has not been charged in connection with her husband's death, said Wednesday. "No one told me what happened to Rusty," she said.
Neither the defense nor the prosecution denies that Neuman pulled the trigger and killed Sneiderman, but they tell divergent stories of what led to the killing.
The prosecution painted Neuman as a calculating killer who planned Sneiderman's shooting for months, going to gun shows, taking a gun safety course, going to target practice, renting a car for the shooting and wearing a disguise.
Neuman's attorney, Doug Peters, said in his opening statements that Neuman believed he had been visited by an angel resembling Olivia Newton-John and a demon resembling Barry White, who told him that Sneiderman's children were his and that he needed to protect them by killing Rusty Sneiderman.
Neuman's defense claims he and Andrea Sneiderman were involved in a hot-and-cold affair when she worked for him at General Electric.
In her testimony, Sneiderman called Neuman "a self-proclaimed delusional individual" who fooled her using "masterful manipulation."
Although she had suspicions about Neuman, she told the court it was "unfathomable" to her that he had really killed her husband until he was arrested.
"I couldn't believe it," she said. "I thought I was crazy. Whose boss kills someone's husband? Affair or no affair -- and there wasn't -- who kills someone else's husband?"
Additional reporting by Heather Whitley.