ATLANTA — Lawyers for the East Cobb man now twice-convicted of murdering a Dunwoody father outside of a daycare are making yet another bid for a new trial.
This November will mark 10 years since Hemy Neuman shot and killed Rusty Sneiderman moments after the entrepreneur dropped his son off to Dunwoody Prep Preschool.
Neuman claimed he was insane at the time of the shooting, but prosecutors believe he was faking his mental illness and said the real motive was an affair with Rusty’s widow, Andrea. Andrea Sneiderman, who was Neuman’s subordinate at General Electric, has vehemently denied any affair.
In a 2012 trial, jurors found Neuman guilty but mentally ill and a judge sentenced him to life in prison with no chance of parole for the murder charge, plus five years for a firearm charge.
In a virtual hearing Wednesday before the Georgia Supreme Court, Neuman’s attorney argued information prosecutors obtained about a defense expert prior to his first trial tainted the case and should be grounds to overturn his second conviction.
“Specifically they had information that at least one of the experts that they were consulting with did think it was strongly possible that Mr. Neuman was malingering,” said Michael Tarleton. “You can’t require the defense team to present any sort of affirmative evidence to disprove that the state didn’t use the privileged information.”
A similar argument after his first trial resulted the Supreme Court overturning his first conviction in 2015. However, in 2016, another jury convicted Neuman a second time.
This time around, Justices appeared skeptical, at one point asking whether it was any “secret” that prosecutors believed Neuman was malingering, or faking, his mental illness.
“It’s essentially something that can’t be untangled from the way the prosecution presents its case,” Tarleton argued. “In this case, the information goes to the heart of the defense.”
But Anna Cross, who prosecuted Neuman’s second trial, argued that the argument doesn’t apply to the second trial and the witnesses she called to the stand.
“The information that was deemed privileged by the two non-testifying experts, prior to the first trial…played no role in either state’s expert the first time coming to the conclusion the defendant was malingering,” she said. “The state experts in the first trial came to that conclusion prior to the disclosure.”
Cross further argued there was no evidence prosecutors committed any kind of misconduct.
“I don’t concede that was later determined to be privileged information, is an appearance of impropriety,” she said.
The justices could take several months to issue a ruling.
Channel 2′s Mike Petchenik reached out to Rusty’s parents through their former attorney, but they had no comment on Neuman’s latest attempt at a new trial.
Sneiderman’s widow, Andrea, directed Petchenik to a statement she gave in August 2019 after Dekalb Superior Court Judge Gregory Adams denied his request for a trial.
"Justice will only be done if Hemy Neuman spends the rest of his life in prison. His continued selfish and cowardly attempts to avoid the consequences of his crime are pathetic and disgusting. He stole my husband from me, and my children’s wonderful father from them.
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