The jury in the Hemy Neuman murder trial spent its first day deliberating Wednesday, but retired for the day without offering a verdict or even a clue about which way they're leaning in a case that has caught national attention.
Neuman, a former GE Energy Atlanta executive, has admitted slaying Dunwoody entrepreneur Russell "Rusty" Sneiderman, but pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.
For about two hours Wednesday afternoon, the jury watched videotaped interviews of Neuman with a psychiatrist hired by the prosecution. That expert testified that Neuman was sane at the time of the killing and responsible for his actions.
Almost all of the nine women and three men of the jury appeared to be bored while reviewing the video in the courtroom. Jurors had already watched hours of videotaped interviews of Neuman when prosecutors and defense lawyers made their arguments.
Only one juror, a middle-aged woman, was taking lots of notes Wednesday. Some of the others appeared to be falling asleep until Judge Gregory Adams stopped the tape and gave them a break. Adams sent the jury out of the courtroom and then sent them a note asking if they wanted to see more of the video.
The jury responded with a one-word answer, written in capital letters: NO.
But there was no other indication of what jurors might be thinking.
Both the prosecution and the defense contend that Neuman was having an affair with Sneiderman's wife.
Rusty Sneiderman was gunned down Nov. 2010, just after dropping off one of his children at a Dunwoody daycare center.
On Tuesday, the prosecution and defense gave their closing arguments, and both sides offered a version of the argument that Neuman killed Sneiderman because he was in love with the victim's wife, Andrea Sneiderman. Neuman was her boss at GE.
The widow has denied having an affair with her boss. She has not been charged in her husband’s death.
The jurors have several options in the case.
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.
The jury will resume its deliberations at 8:30 a.m. Thursday.
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