Neuman found Guilty but Mentally Ill; Gets Life Without Parole

DeKalb DA confirms that his office is investigating the widow

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.

Readers, you can review video clips of Thursday's sentencing hearing or revisit previous days' coverage in our special section.

And for those of you coming to us on a mobile device, here's an RSS feed where you can review Thursday's live blog.

Elizabeth March 15, 2012 at 05:40 PM
He's Guilty! He murdered Rusty. No one has a perfect childhood. If he had Bipolar Disorder, it would have already surfaced. The disorder would have been diagnosed when he was younger. He is not taking medication due to his alleged Bipolar Disorder, which is a lifelong medication after diagnosis. He is not a "family man." He has abandoned his family prior to the murder. Hemy is a horrible murderer.
KC March 15, 2012 at 07:16 PM
I agree with you, Elizabeth. I am very glad he is going to jail, but I don't think he has a psychological disorder. I'm not a doctor by any means. I did, however, watch the trial and the evidence did not convince me one bit for the same reasons you stated above!
HB March 15, 2012 at 08:52 PM
Tall, dark cloaked figure - white robed angel - son sent to boarding school by uncaring father - boy left behind during the holidays while everyone else has gone home to celebrate - HASN'T ANYONE READ "A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens ???????? I bet Hemy has !!!!!
Dave March 15, 2012 at 10:17 PM
This needs correcting, but, as a rough draft: Tu 02.21 Day 1 The Hemy Neuman Trial: Widow Denies Affair with Suspect W 02.22 Day 2 Widow Insists Did Not Have Affair With Suspect Th 02.23 Day 3 Day 3 of Testimony F 02.24 Day 4 Widow Removed from Courtroom M 02.27 Day 5 Video of DPD/HN interview Tu 02.28 Day 6 Prosecutors Rest Their Case W 02.29 Day 7 Hemy Neuman Trial-Defense Presents its Case Th 03.01 Day 8 Neuman Trial-Witness Details Delusions F 03.02 Day 9 Deadly Delusion? M 03.05 Day 10 Experts Say Hemy Neuman Was Insane Tu/W 03.06-.07 Off Th 03.08 Day 11 Hemy Neuman Trial-Defense Rests Its Case F 03.09 Day 12 I Am A Great Executioner Gotta add the rest, including Jury Selection, and deliberation, summaries, videos, etc. But a start.
Cerebration March 16, 2012 at 12:03 AM
Bob Rubin and Doug Peters are just plain wrong in their thinking. Sometimes, you just have to admit that maybe you are being arrogant. Sometimes you have to step back and let calmer heads show you what you aren't seeing due to your myopic view of the situation. The jury saw the truth. For these lawyers to state that only 'they' know the truth and then further, dismiss the jury as more or less, lacking the intelligence to understand such complicated psychiatry is beyond insulting. I so agree with DA James. It really bothered me that these defense attorneys could openly refer to Neuman as a 'good man' - as good a man as walked this earth. That kind of statement is arrogant, insulting, sickening and just plain wrong. Many thanks to DA James, Don Geary and the entire DeKalb DAs office staff as well as the good folks on the jury. We really can be proud of the people in our county.
JJ March 16, 2012 at 12:45 AM
Hemy Neuman is not mentally ill, troubled by traumatic events in his childhood maybe, but definitely not mentally ill. He knew exactly what he was doing when he did it, and justice has been served although I think the verdict should have been plain guilty as charged.
Mike March 16, 2012 at 01:36 AM
That's not what the verdict was. It was guilty but mentally ill. The defense didnt win. He's going to prison for life with no parole. Short of the defense winning on appeal, he's going to die in prison. That's how, or more importantly, why they will appeal.
Anna Varela March 16, 2012 at 02:37 AM
Hi, Dave. We've actually done an update to the review of the trial, which you can find here: http://patch.com/A-rgGL It includes video clips from Thursday's sentencing hearing.
Gary Smith March 16, 2012 at 02:42 AM
The Dunwoody police and investigators really worked hard and all those in the DA office made it count! Waiting for the trial really had us all curious but I am glad he did not go unpunished. I wonder what is in store for the widow but those poor children have shattered lives regardless of the outcome.
PHILLIP G JACKSON March 16, 2012 at 10:24 AM
Death penalty would not be enough for this man need to add Eternal Burn In HELl this most disgusting selfish act of Satan in the Flesh
PHILLIP G JACKSON March 16, 2012 at 10:41 AM
God in Christ only Know for the Children left behind Prayers for them this was barbaric act Death penalty is enough Eternal Burn in Hell is
Gina Hill March 16, 2012 at 12:29 PM
I think Andrea Sneiderman should be thrown under the bus along with Hemy (what a worm, btw). However, I'm afraid that if the DA hasn't dug up enough evidence to charge her by now, they never will.
Michael March 16, 2012 at 01:22 PM
Once the police and DA had him identified as the shooter and the defendant then refuses to plead guilty, the lawyers then have to do something. They can't use the it-wasn't-me-defense nor the self-defense-defense so all they are left with is mental disability. Everyone deserves to have a defense and lawyers at trial. If you don't like it, then leave this fine country. Also, when you or your relative get arrested for whatever, just plead guilty and go on off to prison.
Michael March 16, 2012 at 01:26 PM
There could be an insurance company on the horizon looking to get its $2 million back. The standard of proof in a civil trial would be only preponderating evidence, which just means more likely than not.
Michael March 16, 2012 at 01:27 PM
Jewish people don't believe in hell. Sorry.
Michael March 16, 2012 at 01:29 PM
A guilty but mentally ill verdict is actually worse in the prison context because the parole board hates releasing anyone with mental health issues. However, since he got life without parole it doesn't matter.
Cerebration March 16, 2012 at 01:39 PM
I thoroughly understand that every criminal is entitled to some kind of defense. I just take issue with the way these defense attorneys mis-characterized the victim during the trial, referred to the killer as 'a good a man as walked this earth' in closing arguments and then insinuated that the jury was not smart enough to understand their defense. And yes, I do think that if you really did commit a crime, you should plead guilty. But today, everyone takes a shot at trying to get out of being punished - no matter how ridiculous the 'excuse'.
Mike March 16, 2012 at 05:04 PM
I've often wondered if advances in technology will some day allow old text messages to be recovered and read to see exactly what the message says. Apparently the police didn't get the texts between Hemy and Andrea soon enough in this case. If some technological breakthrough occurs years from now, is it possible that investigators will be able to see exactly what these two were discussing via text and if so, what will those messages reveal?
Mike March 16, 2012 at 05:07 PM
You are correct; those two kids got a raw deal which will only be compounded if the mom was involved in this and subsequently charged/convicted. Regarding the other reply from Michael about the $2 million insurance money, I agree. I actually posted here weeks ago speculating that it wouldn't surprise me if the insurance company had a paid investigator sitting in on the entire trial to see if there was enough evidence to try and recoup the insurance payment. Time will tell.
Ben March 18, 2012 at 03:07 AM
Andrea should be in Jail along with Hemy, I think She was in on Rusty's Murder and I think one day she will be convicted herself
Fran March 19, 2012 at 08:20 PM
I believe if someone is guilty (killing someone execution style) and have been sentenced as guilty.... they should never be able to appeal. The problem with our world today is that killers do get off the hook.... that's why there is so many murders.
Marsha Crenshaw August 09, 2012 at 09:30 AM
It sickens me that we will have to pay for his upkeep in prison. Wrong on all levels.
Michell March 28, 2013 at 10:22 PM
Well the show is still on and will be for a while with Andrea arrested and dateline on ID covering the story of Rustys death!


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