Hemy Neuman, a Georgia man accused of murdering his former employee's husband in front of his son's daycare center, "lied" to get an insanity plea and was of "sound mind" when he killed Rusty Sneiderman, prosecutors said today in the closing arguments of Neuman's murder trial.
"The defendant is serving up an insanity sandwich and he's been serving it up since 2010 and he wants you to eat it," DeKalb County District Attorney Robert James said. "Hemy Neuman killed Rusty Sneiderman because he wanted his wife, he wanted his money, he wanted his life, period."
Sneiderman's widow, Andrea Sneiderman, remained a focus for both sides during the three-week trial's final arguments, with James arguing she knew about Neuman's plan to kill her husband.
"Hemy didn't hide Rusty's murder from Andrea, because Andrea already knew," said prosecutor Robert James. "What does that mean? He's not crazy, he's a co-conspirator."
Earlier in the day Neuman's lawyers called Andrea Sneiderman "manipulative" and "evil" and claimed she used Neuman as a pawn to kill her husband.
"This case is also about one bad, really bad woman: Andrea Sneiderman, adulterer, tease, calculator, liar, and master, master manipulator, and is just as evil as I've ever seen in any case I've ever been involved in," said defense attorney Doug Peters. "The gun was in Hemy's hand, but the trigger was pulled by Andrea Sneiderman."
Neuman, 49, is charged with shooting and killing Rusty Sneiderman, a 36-year-old Harvard graduate, entrepreneur and father of two, in the parking lot of the Sneidermans' son's suburban Atlanta preschool in 2010. He has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.
Prosecutors attempted to dismiss defense claims that Neuman suffered from delusions and child abuse, instead painting him 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.
The defense alleges that Neuman was delusional and that Andrea Sneiderman, who worked for Neuman at GE Energy, was the mastermind behind her husband's killing. She has not been charged in connection with his death and has denied any affair with Neuman, but she has been the focus of both sides and was banned from the courtroom for inappropriate interaction with a witness.
Calling the case a "tragedy," Peters recounted witness testimony that Andrea Sneiderman gave conflicting statements about when she learned of her husband's death, and that she delayed alerting police when she realized Neuman may have been the alleged killer.
"Sophia and Ian's daddy's blood is on the hands of Andrea Sneiderman," Peters said. "She is the person, the one person, who knew that Hemy was spinning out of control... she knew [her husband] had been shot because she had primed the pump, planted the seed, stoked the fire. She knew that she was with someone who was sick."
While the prosecution mental health expert, Pamela Crawford, testified that she believed Neuman was faking his symptoms and was aware of what he was doing when he shot the Dunwoody entrepreneur, the defense reminded jurors that Crawford was not licensed in Georgia and to not confuse a guilty verdict with a mentally ill on.
"Hemy Neuman did not have the capacity to distinguish between right and wrong," said defense co-counsel Bob Rubin.