Andrea Sneiderman Murder Charges Dropped in Dunwoody Daycare Case

PHOTO: Andrea Sneiderman PlayABC News
WATCH Dunwoody Day Care Murder

In March 2012, Hemy Neuman was convicted of murdering Rusty Sneiderman, 36, in the parking lot of Sneiderman's son's day care center in Dunwoody, Ga., and sentenced to life in prison.

But anyone who thought that was the end of the story had another thing coming.

Watch the full story on "20/20" TONIGHT at 10 p.m. ET.

Rusty Sneiderman's friends and family said after Neuman's trial that they could not rest until Sneiderman's widow, Andrea, the object of the infatuation that got her husband killed, was brought to justice.

"We don't know how she's involved, but she's involved," said Steve Sneiderman, Rusty's brother. "How can we have any peace when we don't know the truth?"

Some on the jury that sent Neuman to prison have said they suspect Andrea Sneiderman was hiding something.

"She was really looked at among my fellow jurors and myself as to the possibility -- what [the district attorney] Mr. James said in his closing argument -- the co-conspirator," Cynthia Rivers told ABC News affiliate WSB.

Sure enough, six months after Neuman's trial, Andrea Sneiderman was indicted for murder and lesser charges and arrested. Jury selection for her trial was scheduled for Monday.

However, today, the district attorney asked Judge Gregory Adams to dismiss the three most serious charges, including murder. He told the judge evidence received from the defense prompted him to re-interview witnesses, leading to his decision. Adams, who under Georgia law must give permission to the prosecution to drop charges, later allowed the dismissal.

"For nearly a year, we've been hearing from prosecutors that they can make this case and that they can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Andrea Sneiderman helped plan to murder [her husband]," said Jodie Fleischer, an investigative reporter for WSB who has covered the case from the beginning. "And now ... at the 11th hour, just days from jury selection, they say, 'We don't really have it, after all.'"

In another dramatic development, Andrea Sneiderman, with her husband buried and Hemy Neuman in prison, turned her attention last summer to a new man, Joseph Dell.

Just friends, they insist.

"Prosecutors have alleged that Joseph Dell left his pregnant wife to be with Andrea Sneiderman," Fleischer said. "The defense team has said it's not a romantic relationship and that that is not true."

Sneiderman's phone calls from when she was briefly jailed following her arrest revealed that she discussed which actress should play her when Hollywood makes a movie of her story.

"She thought that Sandra Bullock would be good, but that she was a little too old to play Andrea," Fleischer said.

There were early cracks in the case. After the initial indictment, District Attorney Robert James went back to the grand jury twice more to re-indict Sneiderman, dropping some charges, adding others.

"There was no smoking gun," Fleischer said. "There was no direct evidence. It was all circumstantial. It was, 'She knew too soon. ... she called this person and said Rusty had been shot.' It was, 'She lied about the affair and she didn't necessarily tell police that he was making these advances toward her very graphically.'"

In addition, Jodie Fleischer said, Andrea Sneiderman has hired some of the most well-known defense lawyers in DeKalb County, one of them a former district attorney, and from day one they have attacked the indictment publicly.

Sneiderman still faces 13 charges, most for allegedly lying to police and perjury on the witness stand. But the charges that so many have expected, that she was directly involved in her husband's murder, are gone.

"It's a huge victory for the defense," Fleischer said. "They have been saying from day one that she was not involved in planning this murder. And now it appears prosecutors can't prove that she was."

"I'm deeply disappointed that the DA's office is not going to try those charges," said Bob Rubin, who, with his co-counsel, defended Hemy Neuman with a strategy that blamed Andrea Sneiderman.

"It was certainly unfair to Andrea Sneiderman -- who, again, I'm not a big fan of -- but it is unfair to her to put her through that," Rubin added. "Why indict those charges in the first place if you don't think you can prove it beyond a reasonable doubt?"

Most of those involved in the current case are under a gag order and cannot comment. But the dropped charges come as one final piece of bad news for the Sneiderman family.

"They believe that Andrea played a role, and they wanted justice. And now they feel like they're not gonna get that," Fleischer said.

After Neuman's trial, Rusty Sneiderman's parents and brother told "20/20" co-anchor Elizabeth Vargas that there was one thing they wanted even more than justice: that the memory of their son live on.

"We miss him," said his mother, Marilyn Sneiderman. "He was the light in our life."

"He had so much more to offer the world. The world is so much poorer because he's not here," said his father, Steve Sneiderman.

Perhaps most bereft are Rusty Sneiderman's children, Sophia and Ian, who live with their mother and without a father.

Asked what he would tell them about their dad, Steve Sneiderman told Vargas, "That he loved them so. He wanted nothing but the best for them. Rusty's motto was to dream big, and I hope that those two will dream big."