The prosecutors and defense attorneys delivered closing arguments Tuesday in the Hemy Neuman trial, each offering a version of the argument that Neuman killed Russell “Rusty” Sneiderman because he was in love with Sneiderman’s wife.
Defense attorneys said that Andrea Sneiderman seduced and manipulated a mentally ill man into killing her husband. Prosecutors agreed that the widow and Neuman were lovers, but said Neuman knew what he was doing when he killed Rusty Sneiderman.
“Return a verdict that says ‘What about Andrea Sneiderman?'” - defense attorney Doug Peters
Defense attorney Doug Peters called Andrea Sneiderman a “tease,” a “master manipulator” and “evil.”
DeKalb County District Attorney Robert James told the jury, "Hemy Neuman killed Rusty Sneiderman because he wanted his wife, his money, his life. Period."
Neuman has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity in the killing of Sneiderman, who was gunned down in Nov. 2010 after dropping his son off at a Dunwoody daycare center.
Sneiderman’s widow, Andrea, worked for Neuman at GE Energy. She has denied having an affair with her boss, though she admitted on the stand that she had once held hands with him and felt guilty about it. And she has admitted receiving a $2 million life insurance payout after her husband’s death. She has not been charged in the case.
James gave an explosive summation Tuesday afternoon, mocking the notion that Neuman was insane. James told jurors they're being fed "an insanity sandwich served with French fried lies," but said that doesn’t mean they have to eat it.
And James further mocked the insanity plea by saying, "The devil made me do it, angels made me do it," referring to defense testimony that Neuman saw apparitions that told him to kill Rusty Sneiderman.
The prosecutor drew tears and audible sobs from Rusty Sneiderman's father and other relatives when he set a photo of Rusty's bloodied body next to that of a smiling photo of the slain Dunwoody entrepreneur.
"The defense says that this is a case about two good men," James said. "There was only one good man. He (Neuman) did this to Rusty. This is real. It's not TV. This is what he did to a father, a husband, a son, a brother, and they have the temerity to call him (Neuman) a good man?"
The defense offered its closing arguments in the morning and urged jurors to consider that Neuman was led to commit the crime by Andrea Sneiderman.
“A verdict of not guilty by reason of insanity is a verdict that speaks the truth,” Peters told jurors. “A verdict of not guilty by reason of insanity is a verdict that says Hemy was used. Hemy was manipulated.
“Return a verdict that says ‘What about Andrea Sneiderman?'”
Neuman's attorneys claim that he suffers from bipolar disorder and was delusional at the time of the shooting.
Jurors can consider several options.
The jury could find Neuman guilty, which would mean possible life in prison, or acquit him.
They could also find him not guilty by reason of insanity, in which case he would go to a secure mental health facility for 30 days of evaluation, and be brought back to Judge Adams who could decide to commit Neuman or set him free.
Another option would be guilty with mental illness, which would likely result in Neuman going to prison, but receiving mental health treatment.
A jury of nine women and three men will begin deliberating Neuman’s fate Wednesday morning.
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