DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. - The man behind a fatal shooting outside a Dunwoody preschool is no longer married. In an interview with Channel 2’s Jodie Fleischer, his ex-wife explained what it was like to be married to a murderer.
"We went through a very long, hard and painful journey, but I feel relieved," Hemy Neuman’s wife of 23 years, Reli Barkoni, said.
She and Neuman became officially divorced Tuesday. Barkoni told Fleischer her husband’s conviction and alleged affair turned her family’s life upside down, but they are fighting to get back on their feet.
In March, Neuman was sentenced to life in prison for gunning down his co-worker’s husband. Rusty Sneiderman was killed after dropping off his son at a Dunwoody preschool two years ago. Neuman was found guilty but mentally insane. Barkoni doesn’t buy it.
"He was never crazy. He never behaved in a strange way. He was a strong man,” she said. “When he believed in something, he went and did it."
The Neumans were in financial trouble before the murder, and Barkoni had kicked her husband out over an alleged affair with the victim’s wife. The widow, Andrea Sneiderman, testified during the trial but repeatedly denied the affair.
“Liar,” Barkoni said.
She hasn't spoken to Neuman since shortly after his arrest and doesn’t plan to change that.
“I don't want to speak with him. I don't want to see him. It's too painful. And I'm not there for him, not anymore," she said.
She said the man she married no longer exists, and she didn't buy his emotion at sentencing.
“He was just crying for himself. I don't feel that he was feeling anything for his own family, and I feel that he has to be shamed for himself," she said.
The one-time stay-at-home mom now works three jobs, with three children in college.
Her home is facing foreclosure, but she still has hope.
"I decided I have to continue my life for my kids for myself. We deserve better, and we will make it," she said.
Barkoni said she feels sorry for the Sneiderman family, who lost a son and brother. She believes Andrea Sneiderman should face charges but didn’t go into details. Prosecutors are still considering whether to take that case to a grand jury.