DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. - A judge sentenced Andrea Sneiderman to five years in prison, minus time served, after a jury found her guilty on nine of 13 felony counts, including perjury and making false statements to police.
Channel 2 Action News crews were in the courtroom Tuesday morning as the Dunwoody mother begged for mercy Tuesday morning, right before the judge sent her to prison for lying after her boss killed her husband.
DeKalb County Superior Court Judge Gregory Adams sentenced her to five years on each count, but showed leniency by allowing them to run concurrently. That means she will serve five years only.
A jury convicted her Monday of lying about an affair with Hemy Neuman, the man convicted in March 2012 of gunning down her husband, Rusty Sneiderman outside Dunwoody Prep Preschool in 2010.
"Please let me go home to my kids. Mr. Neuman changed my children's lives forever," she cried on the stand during Tuesday's sentencing. "One of my greatest regrets will always be allowing this predator into my life."
“I never thought Mr. Neuman was capable of murder,” she said.
“The line of appropriate conduct was blurred,” she acknowledged, while insisting there was never any sexual contact between the two. “I thought I could handle him. I thought he was a man just being a man.”
"I was never leaving my true love Rusty and our children."
Sneiderman was in ankle shackles and an orange jumpsuit and cried as she pleaded for the judge to spare her time in prison.
“Mrs. Sneiderman is on her way to jail as I believed she should be in the first place,” DeKalb County District Attorney Robert James said after the sentencing.
“Two families have been torn apart. This is a very sad situation. In America you cannot lie to police and you cannot lie to a jury,” he said. "It's difficult for me to feel sympathy when someone asks for mercy but they're not willing to admit fault."
Sneiderman's defense attorneys said they will be appealing the verdict and they believe specific testimony about the alleged affair is grounds for overturning the case.
Defense attorney Tom Clegg noted that Sneiderman had no involvement in Rusty Sneiderman's murder while alluding to the fact that famous figures, including former President Bill Clinton and baseball star Barry Bonds, never served prison time for perjury.
“Had there been no public interest, there would’ve been no trial,” said Clegg, asking the judge for a sentence of probation. ‘Why on earth has the criminal justice system been so hell bent on destroying this woman’s life? I’ve never seen anything like it.”
The brother of Rusty Sneiderman said his sister-in-law had no one to blame but herself.
“She thinks she’s special, but she’s not,” Steve Sneiderman said. “She’s a common criminal. She lied to her family. She lied to her friends. She lied to Rusty.”
"Her pathetic narcissism would be comical if it weren't tied to the death of a special person.")
“Without her lies and betrayal to her death, Rusty would still be here with his children,” he said. “A very special man is gone because of her actions.”
Rusty Sneiderman’s family released a written statement thanking prosecutors and the jury for their work on the case. They said they will move forward with civil litigation against Andrea Sneiderman.