Updated:DUNWOODY, Ga.,None — An East Cobb father of three accused of killing the husband of one of his employees had been estranged from his wife in the weeks leading up to the shooting, according to an attorney representing Hemy Neuman's estranged wife, Ariela.
"They had been separated awhile before the murder," said Esther Panitch of the Panitch Law Group, who exclusively told Channel 2's Mike Petchenik the couple has been married for 22 years. Police said Neuman had been living in Buckhead, not at his family's Marietta home at the time of his January arrest.
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Panitch told Petchenik the allegations against the 48-year-old father of three were "shocking" to Ariela Neuman.
"She, as well as the children, has been stunned by the allegations and the indictment which came down today," she said.
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A DeKalb County grand jury indicted Hemy Neuman on Tuesday on charges of malice murder and possession of a firearm during commission of a felony.
Neuman is accused of shooting and killing Rusty Sneiderman, 36, on Nov. 18 after Sneiderman dropped off his 2-year-old child at Dunwoody Prep.
"The Dunwoody Police Department and my investigators have worked tirelessly to bring justice to the loved ones of Mr. Russell Sneiderman and the citizens of DeKalb County," said DeKalb County District Attorney Robert James.
"I cannot comment on what may or may not happen in the future as far as our evidence," said James when asked about a canceled preliminary hearing that would have made police evidence public.
Petchenik asked James how confident prosecutors are about getting a conviction. James responded, "If I were not confident I would not have presented the case to the grand jury this morning along with chief assistant Don Gery."
russell sneiderman IM Russell Sneiderman
Andrea Sneiderman released a statement on the indictment: "The murder of my husband, Rusty Sneiderman, has been devastating to me and our families. I was thankful and relieved when the police made an arrest but I was shocked to learn that the man charged with the murder was my former boss, a person who we thought was a friend of our family."
"I have been assured by the DeKalb County District Attorney's Office that Mr. Neuman is Rusty's killer and that they will do everything in their power to bring him to justice. My family and I are cooperating in any way we can to assist them in their efforts," the statement concluded.
Last month, General Electric confirmed to Channel 2 Action News that Neuman worked in the same department in the company as the wife of Sneiderman. The company would not disclose anything about his relationship with Sneiderman's wife, Andrea.
Neuman's attorneys, Doug Peters and Bob Rubin, said they were disappointed the district attorney did not allow them to have a hearing in open court to debate the evidence in the case. The men claimed they have not seen the evidence against Neuman. Police have not revealed a motive in the case.
"We do believe there's somebody else the police should be looking for," said Bob Rubin. "However, we don't have the resources of the state to do that kind of investigation."
"The fact that someone is arrested does not mean they're guilty," said Doug Peters. "The fact that someone is indicted does not mean they're guilty."
Panitch said her client wanted to make clear she and her family are not funding Neuman's legal defense.
Petchenik asked Panitch whether Ariela Neuman wanted to pass along any thoughts to Rusty Sneiderman's family.
"Mrs. Neuman and her children feel a great deal of compassion for the Sneiderman children," said Panitch, declining to include Andrea Sneiderman in her statement.
Neuman was being held at the DeKalb County Jail without bond.