Convicted killer Hemy Neuman’s insanity defense was torpedoed by his alleged paramour’s perjured testimony from the witness stand, the former GE executive’s attorneys argued Tuesday at a hearing to grant their client a new trial.
“Without (Andrea Sneiderman’s) testimony, we believe it’s an entirely different trial,” Neuman co-counsel Scott Key said.
The Dunwoody widow, whose husband was fatally shot by Neuman, her former boss, in November 2010 outside their son’s daycare facility, was convicted last August on nine of 13 felony counts, including perjury, making false statements to investigators and hindering the apprehension of a criminal.
DeKalb County Deputy Chief Assistant District Attorney Anna Cross said Sneiderman’s testimony was not crucial to the prosecution of Neuman, who was sentenced to life in prison two years ago.
“The state can and did prove Hemy Neuman murdered Rusty Sneiderman completely outside of Andrea Sneiderman’s testimony,” Cross said Tuesday.
Sneiderman was grilled vigorously by the state and the defense when she took the stand in Neuman’s trial two years ago. Prosecutors said at the time she was called as a witness to establish motive but she ended up helping the state mount its case against her.
Neuman’s attorneys said she did just as much damage to their client’s defense.
“Lying about the affair (with Neuman) did not help the defense,” Key said. “The affair released a set of emotions from our client that contributed to or led to his descent into insanity.”
Sneiderman insists she was never romantically involved with Neuman, despite significant evidence indicating an affair took place.
“The defense was premised on the fact that there was a relationship … that led him to insanity,” Key said. “If she lied about it, if she said a relationship didn’t happen, that undermined the central component of the defense.”
The defense argued she was not in love with her boss but rather used him to get out of an unhappy marriage.
“Hemy Neuman was a mentally ill sick man who was being manipulated, lied to and taken advantage of by Andrea Sneiderman,” Key said.
Cross said Sneiderman’s misstatements were thoroughly vetted during Neuman’s trial.
“There’s no due process violation, there’s no hiding evidence,” Cross said.
Neuman, who did not testify in his own defense and has yet to speak publicly about the murder or the alleged affair with his victim’s spouse, maintained his silence Tuesday. Sporting a couple of days worth of stubble and dressed in a prison-issue orange jumpsuit, he no longer looks like the executive that stood trial in early 2012.
DeKalb County Superior Court Judge Gregory A. Adams said he would consider the motion for a new trial but didn’t say when he would announce his decision. Neuman co-counsel Doug Peters said the defense will seek a ruling from an appellate court if the judge rejects the motion. He said he believes Neuman should be found not guilty by reason of insanity.
Sneiderman, sentenced last August to five years on each guilty count to run concurrently, is eligible for parole in late April.