by: Mike Petchenik Updated:
DECATUR, Ga. - Attorneys for Andrea Sneiderman are asking a judge to remove her brother-in-law as executor of her late husband's will.
Rusty Sneiderman was gunned down in November 2010 outside his son's Dunwoody preschool. A jury has convicted Hemy Neuman for the murder. His widow, Andrea, now faces charges she conspired with Neuman, her former boss, to have her husband killed because the two were having an affair.
Sneiderman denies both the affair and involvement in Rusty's murder and is out of jail on house arrest awaiting trial.
Before Rusty's murder, lawyers said he appointed his brother, Steve, to see that his wishes were carried out.
"This is what Rusty Sneiderman, (what) he wanted; his brother to be the executor," said attorney Craig Frankel.
Sources tell Petchenik Steve Sneiderman was also the executor on Andrea's will as well.
But Friday, Andrea Sneiderman's attorneys argued before a judge that Steve has shown bias because of statements he's made to the media alleging Andrea's guilt, and because of a wrongful death lawsuit he's filed against Andrea.
"Steven Sneiderman owes duty of law and has taken an oath to perform that duty without bias or prejudice to the beneficiary of the estate," said attorney Louis Levenson.
Levenson also argued that the court should also remove Rusty's father, Donald, as backup executor because of statements he's made publicly and because of a recent lawsuit in which Andrea's family was accused of obstructing Dunwoody police as they investigated Rusty's murder.
"Mr. Donald Sneiderman pleads with the court…that Andrea had denied him access to the children…and that the court should find her behavior morally repugnant and not in the best interest of the children," said Levenson.
An attorney for Rusty's brother and father argued the family has a right to know whether the will's primary beneficiary, Andrea, played a role in Rusty's death.
"Based on what happened at the (Hemy Neuman) trial, there's good reason to believe she was involved," said Craig Frankel. "This isn't bias. This is doing your duty."
Frankel said he wants to gather evidence, including statements from Andrea Sneiderman, prior to the probate case going to trial.
"I'd like to know whether she says what she said at trial is true or not," said Frankel, referring to Sneiderman's testimony during Hemy Neuman's trial. "I'd like to know whether she's going to invoke her 5th amendment rights against self-incrimination. I think it's relevant if she invokes it."
Levenson argued taking Andrea's deposition isn't necessary because the judge only has to decide whether Steve and Donald Sneiderman's conduct "may" have shown an appearance of bias, and therefore questioning Andrea wasn't needed.
"She doesn't need to be asked questions about whether she was involved in the alleged conspiracy to murder Russell Sneiderman with respect to whether or not you've got people you appointed to carry about the responsibilities …pursuant to the oath that Steven Sneiderman took," Levenson argued.
Judge Jeryl Debra Rosh could rule on the issue of discovery in the next few weeks.
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