DEKALB COUNTY, Ga.,None - For the first time, prosecutors in the
day care murder trial spelled out their suspicions that Rusty Sneiderman's widow helped plan his murder.
Testimony is on hold until Thursday, the day when Hemy Neuman's defense attorneys will continue presenting their case. In the meantime, Channel 2 investigative reporter Jodie Fleischer asked an expert about the likelihood that the widow, Andrea Sneiderman, could also face charges.
Since Day 1 of the Hemy Neuman trial, prosecutors have hinted
the suggestion that she could face charges if Andrea conspired to kill her husband, Rusty. But it's the first time they've directly said the widow might have helped plan her husband's murder. Prominent defense attorney Manny Arora, a former prosecutor, said that's risky.
"The one thing the government needs to be careful about is when they go that hard saying this woman may have conspired, it may feed into the defense's argument that she was manipulating this guy and made him do it, and it may end up backfiring on them," Arora said.
They posed it as a hypothetical question to a defense psychologist, which Arora said is common, and doesn't even need to be rooted in fact. But in this case, witnesses testified that Sneiderman told them her husband, Rusty, had been shot before anyone officially told her the morning of the shooting.
Phone records also showed Neuman was on the phone with Andrea Sneiderman while he was shopping for the gun and disguise.
"If you're gonna go there and you think you have some evidence, why not just go ahead and charge her instead of being coy about it?," Arora said.
But prosecutors have not charged Sneiderman with anything yet, and Arora said they are under no obligation. Conspiracy to commit murder is tough to prove without confession.
"The defendant that's on trial right now can't say she conspired because then it undermines his mental health defense, if he knew what was going on he's out of luck with his entire defense," Arora said.
He said plenty of people lie about affairs, and that perjury, false statements and obstruction charges are rare.
"It just depends how aggressive prosecutors want to be, people change their story on the stand all the time," added Arora.
Arora said it's hard to prove someone intentionally lied.
But prosecutors often charge a more serious crime, hoping it will lead to a plea on a lesser charge.
Hemy Neuman's trial resumes Thursday morning.