by: Mike Petchenik Updated:
ATLANTA - A Fulton County judge is now deciding whether to dismiss a wrongful death lawsuit against Andrea Sneiderman, the woman accused of conspiring with her former boss and alleged lover to have her husband killed.
Rusty Sneiderman's older brother, Steven, filed the suit months before a DeKalb County grand jury indicted Andrea Sneiderman on murder, conspiracy and other charges. Steven Sneiderman is seeking to control the assets of his late brother for the benefit his niece and nephew.
"My brother's primary concern was the health and welfare of his children," Steven Sneiderman testified, adding that his brother trusted him to carry out his wishes to benefit the two children, ages 4 and 7.
Attorney Esther Panitch pointed out that Rusty and Andrea appointed Steven as executor of their respective wills.
"He is the ideal 'next friend,'" Panitch said.
Steven Sneiderman testified that he first became suspicious of Andrea's involvement in Rusty's murder outside a Dunwoody daycare after the arrest of Andrea's former boss and alleged lover, Hemy Neuman, who was convicted in March of the murder.
"I came to Atlanta with an open mind," Steven Sneiderman testified about his feelings before the trial.
But Sneiderman said his feelings changed after Andrea's contentious testimony during the trial and DeKalb District Attorney Robert James' closing argument that labeled Andrea as a co-conspirator in the case.
"That firmed it up for me," he testified.
But, Andrea Sneiderman's attorneys argued Steven Sneiderman's feelings, and comments to the media about the case, show that he doesn't have the best interest of the children in mind.
"Did that occur you how it would impact your nieces and nephews?" questioned Louis Levenson. "Why did you make the statements with a reasonable amount of knowledge that your niece and nephew would hear those statements from their beloved uncle's lips?"
Sneiderman responded: "I was pursuing justice for my brother."
Andrea Sneiderman's attorneys closed the hearing by telling Judge Doris Downs she should dismiss the case because Steven Sneiderman can't continue in his role as executor of Rusty's will.
"In this case, Mr. Sneiderman has numerous conflicts of interest, which in the emotional context of this case, prevent him from fulfilling that role," said Doug Chalmers.
Downs indicated she would take all of the evidence under advisement and rule at a later date.