A jury of nine women and three men found Hemy Neuman guilty but mentally ill in the 2010 killing of Russell "Rusty" Sneiderman.
Judge Gregory Adams, who called Sneiderman's death "an execution," sentenced Neuman to the maximum sentence allowed __ life in prison without possibility of parole. Adams also imposed a five year sentence for using a gun in the commission of a felony.
DeKalb District Attorney Robert James called it a victory. “Guilty is guilty,” James said in a news conference after the sentencing hearing.
"Andrea Sneiderman should be charged with murder in the first degree." _ Defense Attorney Doug Peters
Defense lawyers pledged to appeal the verdict and argued that Neuman should have been found not guilty by reason of insanity.
Neuman admitted killing Russell "Rusty" Sneiderman in Nov. 2010, just after Sneiderman dropped his son off at a Dunwoody daycare center. Neuman, a former executive at GE Energy, pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. His lawyers presented evidence that he believed he was visited by an angel and a demon that urged him to kill Sneiderman.
He did not take the stand in his own defense, but jurors heard him speak in hours of videotaped interviews with mental health experts.
In a soft, sometimes halting voice, Neuman addressed the court briefly during his sentencing hearing Thursday.
"I am so, so, so sorry," Neuman said. "I can't say it enough. I am sorry from the deepest part of me your honor. That's all I have."
His mother, Rebecca Cohen, also spoke briefly.
"Your honor, I'm Hemy's mother," she said in a soft voice. "I am not proud of what he has done. It was a big mistake. I beg you to have mercy on him."
The murder trial gripped the nation for more than a month. Both sides have claimed that Neuman was having an affair with Rusty Sneiderman's wife, Andrea Sneiderman, who worked for Neuman at GE.
The widow testified in the case and admitted receiving $2 million in life insurance after her husband’s death. She denied having an affair with her boss and said she did not know of his plans to kill Rusty Sneiderman.
Neuman's defense attorneys, Bob Rubin and Doug Peters, cast blame on Andrea Sneiderman and said she manipulated a mentally ill man into killing her husband.
"The entire truth has not been presented," Peters said at the press conference after the trial. "Hemy Neuman was as good of a man who ever walked this earth until he met Andrea Sneiderman. ...
"Andrea Sneiderman should be charged with murder in the first degree. I think she preyed upon him and used him to commit the crime."
James said his office is investigating whether the widow had any involvement in the murder and referred to her as the "1,000-pound pink gorilla in the corner."
"Stay tuned. When we know something, y'all will know."
Guilty but mentally ill brings the same sentence as a guilty verdict, District James explained. It simply means that the Georgia Department of Corrections will be in charge of Neuman's mental health care, if he receives any.
Rusty Sneiderman's brother, Steven Sneiderman, spoke on behalf of the family at the news conference.
"Today is the 483rd day since our brother was senselessly taken from us," he said, as he thanked the Dunwoody police and the District Attorney’s office for their work.
Sneiderman said the family has long suspected that Andrea Sneiderman played a role in her husband’s death.
"We know she lied about her involvement with Neuman," he said. "We will have no peace until everyone involved in Rusty's death is brought to justice. It is clear to us that Andrea is covered in Rusty's blood. And there aren't enough rabbis in the world to wash that blood away."
He would not comment on whether the family was considering a wrongful death lawsuit or other civil action against Andrea Sneiderman. He also wouldn’t discuss whether she was allowing Rusty’s family to have contact with his children. Andrea Sneiderman has moved from her former home in Dunwoody to Florida.
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