Day four of testimony in the Hemy Neuman trial began with a startling development - the victim’s widow, Andrea Sneiderman, was banished from the courthouse unless she is called back to the stand to testify.
Both the prosecutor, Don Geary, and defense attorney, Doug Peters , wanted her out and said she was violating the judge’s order to avoid contact with other witnesses in the case.
Have you missed a day in the trial? Catch up on this week's testimony, including video.
They said that her actions in the courtroom and in the hallways could prejudice the jury. While sitting in the gallery, she has shaken her head from side to side and said "no," and "That's a lie" while witnesses were testifying. She hugged one witness in front of jurors and she reportedly accosted another witness in the hallway after some testimony declaring, "We're not friends any more." She also went into a witness room where some of her former co-workers were waiting to be called to testify.
Geary said he feared a mistrial and the judge granted the request.
Russell "Rusty" Sneiderman was gunned down in Nov. 2010 after dropping his 2-year-old son off at the daycare center in Dunwoody.
Much of the testimony Friday focused on whether Neuman acted odd or distressed at work or ever told anyone that he thought he was visited by demons or that an angel told him that he must kill. Neuman has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity and his lawyers have said he suffered from delusions.
The prosecution produced several witnesses to detail the day of the killing, including a security officer who testified about how GE security cameras and Neuman’s ID badge tracked his movements. He showed up for work about 5:30 a.m. on the day of the shooting, and left just before 6 a.m., hours before he would normally be there. And he returned just before lunch.
Others testified about the moments after the shooting.
A chiropractor and his wife crossed paths with Neuman as they left the post office next door. He said he heard the shooting and saw a man slowly walking back to a van, wearing an obvious costume beard and carrying a silver pistol.
"I was waiting for someone to shout "Cut," like it was a movie," said Craig Kuhlmyer. who added that the gunman looked right at him.
"I will never forget that face," Kuhlmyer said.
Witness Craig Lang, who was in his truck in the parking lot, said he saw the final shots, with the bearded gunman standing over the prone body of Rusty Sneiderman. He said the gunman continue to fire. "I saw Hemy shoot Rusty Sneiderman," Lang said. "Point blank range is what I'd call it."
Kuhlmyer said he rushed to Sneiderman and found him with a weak pulse and gasping for air. "He was bleeding out," he said.
Dr. Terrence Gfoerer, a pediatrician whose office is nearby, was rushed to the scene by onlookers. He said he performed CPR on Sneiderman for about five minutes before ambulance workers took over. "In my opinion, he was dead before EMS arrived."
Other testimony focused on what Andrea Sneiderman was told and when. She has testified that no one told her that her husband was shot until she got to Atlanta Medical Center. And that seems to be backed up by witness testimony on Friday. The assistant director of the school said that she didn't tell Andrea anything about a shooting, only that there was a incident at the school, but her son, Ian, was fine. Police on the scene testified that they wouldn't let her see what was going on and remarked that she never asked how her husband was.
Other witnesses, including Rusty's father, Don Sneiderman, said that Andrea called to tell them that Rusty was shot while she was on the way to the daycare center. "She called and said that Rusty had been shot and that she was so, so sorry. And that she was going over to Dunwoody Prep to find out what happened," Donald Sneiderman testified.
Andrea Neuman hasn't been implicated in the crime. The attending emergency room doctor, Mark Waterman, testified that as far as he knew, he was the first one to tell Andrea that her husband was shot and killed.
He described her reaction as unusual, and said that instead of asking how or why this happened, she requested a child psychologist to break the news to her children. "I've never seen that reaction before," he said.
Much of the testimony has centered on whether the widow and the suspect had been having an affair with Neuman, who was her supervisor at GE. She has denied an affair and painted her former boss as a manipulator.
Prosecutors are portraying Neuman as a man who knew right from wrong, and who developed a calculated plan to get rid of a romantic rival.
Testimony on Wednesday revealed that Andrea Sneiderman received about $2 million in life insurance benefits after her husband’s death.
The trial resumes at 9 a.m. Monday. Come back to Patch for continuing coverage.
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