DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. - Judge Gregory Adams has signed off on the district attorney's decision not to prosecute Andrea Sneiderman on the most serious charges against her.
As Channel 2’s Jodie Fleischer first reported on Monday, charges of malice murder, felony murder and aggravated assault have been officially dropped after a more than two-hour long hearing.
Sneiderman's lawyer, Tom Clegg, requested a continuance of the trial for six months to a year due to intense media scrutiny of the case. The defense said it does not believe Sneiderman can get a fair trial.
Adams denied the request and said jury selection will begin Monday as planned. He said he will spend as much time as necessary on jury selection.
After James announced his intention not to pursue the three most serious criminal charges, Sneiderman’s lawyer, Clegg, said he never believed there was enough evidence to sustain the charges.
“I believe they’ve known all along they didn’t have a murder case,” Clegg said.
James called that “a cheap shot,” saying he had only arrived at his determination after receiving pretrial discovery from the defense.
“I think it would be unjust and unethical for the District Attorney’s Office to move forward on a charge I’m not 100 percent sure of,” James said.
Prosecutors also filed a motion to call Melanie White as a witness in Sneiderman’s trial.
White says her good friend, Hemy Neuman, confided in her about his affair with Sneiderman.
‘There was a romantic and physical relationship between the two of them,” said prosecutor Anna Cross. “The state expects there will be a lot of information about the relationship presented from witnesses other than Mrs. White.”
But the defense argued that White and Neuman were not particularly close and that his word could not trusted.
“There’s a lot of questions to his character and mental stability,” said defense attorney J. Tom Morgan. “He is a certifiable, judicially determined lunatic.”
Adams will need to approve whether she can testify because it could be hearsay.
As Sneiderman was escorted out of the courthouse, her attorney would only say, “we can't comment at all," over having the murder charges dropped against her.
A friend of Sneiderman’s, Ryan Stansbury, said Andrea has been held as prisoner in her own home.
"The evidence is overwhelming in her favor and she will be completely exonerated," Stansbury said. “She's been isolated from her friends, very few people have been able to see her, it's been a daily struggle."
Last year, Neuman was found guilty but mentally ill in the death of Sneiderman’s husband, Rusty Sneiderman. Neuman had been Andrea Sneiderman’s boss, and prosecutors alleged that the two were having an affair, which led up to Neuman shooting Rusty Sneiderman in front of his children’s Dunwoody day care.
Andrea Sneiderman is also facing 13 additional charges stemming from alleged lies she told on the stand during Neuman’s trial, including hindering the apprehension of a criminal, concealment of material facts, false statements and perjury. Each charge carries maximum sentences ranging from five to 10 years in prison.
Sneiderman was initially indicted as Neuman’s co-conspirator following her arrest last August. She was re-indicted twice this year, charged as a “party to the crime” of murder rather than a conspirator. Georgia law defines that, in part, as intentionally advising, encouraging, hiring, counseling or procuring another to commit a crime.