DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — A forensic psychologist testified Monday that she believes admitted killer Hemy Neuman suffered from undiagnosed bipolar disorder and was experiencing a manic episode when he killed Rusty Sneiderman in 2010.
Neuman is facing retrial for Sneiderman’s murder. Prosecutors said he was having an affair with Sneiderman’s wife, Andrea, his employee at GE Energy, and that he wanted him out of the picture.
Dr. Adriana Flores testified that she evaluated Neuman for nearly 19 hours, and spent more than 200 hours on his case.
“My opinion is that Mr. Neuman became psychotic,” Flores testified. %
Flores told jurors that she believes that Neuman was out of touch with reality when he killed Sneiderman, and suffering from delusions, including that his relationship with Andrea Sneiderman was more than it was and that he needed to rescue the Sneiderman children from Rusty Sneiderman.
“To them, the voices feel real -- as real as you can hear me talking with you,” she said of the voices that officials said Neuman was hearing, telling him to kill Sneiderman.
Flores also testified that people with bipolar disorder and certain types of delusions are able to fly under the radar without others noticing their mental problems.
“He was an operations manager, planning, organizing, all of that is second nature for him,” she said. “I would expect to see that if he was delusional."
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Prosecutors claim that Neuman is malingering, or faking his mental illness.
Flores testified that she tested Neuman extensively and concluded that he was not making up his symptoms.
“He was actually trying to make himself look as better psychologically put together than he really was,” she said.
Flores said Neuman’s test revealed that he had a number of issues.
"He experienced having thoughts of suicide. He had some difficult having too much energy. He had some difficulty having strange or disturbing thoughts, difficulty waking up early in the morning, some difficulty hearing voices that were not really there,” she testified.
Flores told jurors that Neuman said he had a dysfunctional childhood filled with abuse by an alcoholic father and abandonment, and she said that can increase the likelihood of someone experiencing mental illness.
The trial continues Tuesday. Follow Channel 2's Mike Petchenik for LIVE updates.
Cox Media Group