by: Jodie Fleischer Updated:CLEVELAND,None —
It was a shocking crime. A corporate executive charged with murder, a young father killed while dropping his son off at pre-school and a love triangle as the alleged motive.
On the one year anniversary, for the first time, Rusty Sneiderman's parents spoke about the son they lost with Channel 2 Action News.
They invited investigative reporter Jodie Fleischer into their Cleveland, Ohio home to talk about the man he was.
They said there has been so much focus on how Rusty died; they want everyone to know how he lived.
"He was just a big kid at heart, he loved his kids," Don Sneiderman, Rusty's father, said.
His mother Marilyn added, "He just was wonderful to be around, he lit up our life."
His parents said dealing with Rusty's murder has been that much harder, because Rusty would have been his family's strength during something like this.
They said his positive spirit was just as big as his toothy grin.
"We miss him terrible. Not a day goes by that we don't think of him, and it's sad that anything like this could happen," Marilyn Sneiderman said.
Rusty had just dropped his son off at the Dunwoody Prep pre-school and walked back to his car, when a silver minivan drove up, and Hemy Neuman allegedy jumped out and opened fire.
"Your heart stops. When that doctor said he didn't survive, it was... We went numb," the parents said.
They said Rusty was smart, a Harvard Business School graduate and an entrepreneur with big dreams. But he was just as comfortable being silly with his two children, his joy. His brother and sister-in-law said the family tried to explain to Rusty's daughter, something even adults can't understand.
"She wanted to know what state was closest to heaven so we could move there and be by daddy," said Lisa Sneiderman, Rusty's sister-in-law.
His brother Steve added, "It's still very raw and seems like it just happened. It's just as painful today a year later as it was that very first day."
The whole family described Rusty as a bit of a busybody, but they say his close involvement in everyone's lives makes them miss his presence that much more.
They said it's even harder to move on, knowing his death was intentional.
"We went through a really, really dark time. This is absolutely senseless. Rusty did absolutely nothing wrong and he paid the ultimate price here," said Lisa Sneiderman.
Hemy Neuman was originally scheduled to stand trial Oct. 17, but the judge delayed it until February.
"That's very hard to gear up and then to wait," Don Sneiderman said.
"We were very disappointed," added Marilyn, "We want to get justice for Rusty and we want to be able to move on a little bit, but your heart is broken you'll never be the same."
Rusty's parents, and brother and sister-in-law, all plan to come down to Atlanta to face Neuman in the courtroom.
- Apology email from Neuman shows state of mind before fatal shooting
- Encounter between suspect, murder victim heard in 911 call
- Neuman lawyer: "He is the one who did the shooting"
"He should know what he did, and how he cheated us and Rusty's kids," said his brother, Steve. "Neuman has his lawyers. The state's represented. Someone has to be there for Rusty."
Rusty's wife, Andrea, has not attended one hearing. She is on the witness list, since prosecutors consider her alleged affair with Hemy Neuman, the motive.
The Sneiderman family did not want to answer any questions about Andrea, or her alleged affair with the killer. Through her attorney, Andrea Sneiderman declined to participate in this story about her husband.
Neuman's attorneys have said he didn't know right from wrong when he planned and executed the murder. The family doesn't buy the insanity defense.
"I think this is his ultimate 'Hail Mary' pass. I don't think he has a shot in hell," Lisa Sneiderman said.
The family isn't sure what they'll say to Neuman when they have the chance.
"There's a part of me that wants to put him in a box and throw him off a cliff, and never deal with him again. And there's another part of me that wants to confront him," Steve Sneiderman said.
His father Don added, "He's one of those people that doesn't really need to exist. So I don't care what he knows because whatever it is, it won't make any difference to Rusty and it won't make any difference to me."
They instead focus everyday on making sure Rusty gets the justice he deserves.
"We need to have a complete investigation ... and we need punishment for the people involved," Steve Sneiderman said.
Rusty's parents added, "Nothing's going to bring him back. We don't know what justice means, maybe when we have it we'll know what it is."