Day 10 in the trial of Hemy Neuman, charged in the Nov. 18, 2010 death of Dunwoody businessman Rusty Sneiderman, began Monday morning in DeKalb Superior Court. Judge Gregory Adams canceled testimony Friday due to a matter he said was unrelated to the Neuman case.
Prosecution: DeKalb DA Robert James and Chief Assistant DA Don Geary.
Defense: Attorneys Bob Rubin and Doug Peters
Judge: Gregory Adams
4:20 p.m.: Judge then calls for a recess for the day. He tells them that he has to deal with an issue that is unrelated to this case and therefore they will reconvene at 9 a.m. Thursday.
4:10 p.m.: Dr. Marks said Neuman suffered from a ‘nonbizarre' delusion, meaning he could compartmentalize his delusions and still behave normal at work, for example.
4:04 p.m.: Dr. Marks said her diagnosis was that Neuman wasn't able to determine right from wrong due to a bi-polar disorder and at the time of the shooting. She said he was manic and delusional, which she describes as a fixed false belief despite evidence that a thing can not be.
4:01 p.m. Dr. Marks said she tested Neuman for malingering on Sept, 27, 2011. She did not interview Andrea Sneiderman, because Sneiderman did not want it. Marks said she did not talk to other psychologists.
3:55 p.m. She also was provided with a transcript of Neuman's interview from Jan. 4, 2011; a transcript of Andrea Sneiderman's interivews in 2010; and other transcript interviews. She was also given a book written by Neuman's father; reports from Dr. Peter Thomas, including testing he did) and Dr. Crawford's report. She also reviewed his financial records and interviewed Neuman a total of seven hours and interviewed hs sister, mother and father by telephone.
3:50 a.m. Dr. Marks said she read articles about the case in the AJC; she read summaries of the 7000-page discovery including witness interviews, including interviews from Andrea Sneiderman; interviews of Neuman, that included his statment that he had nothing to do with the crime or Sneiderman. She also reviewed neuman's medical records from DeKalb County jail; reviewed copies of email correspondence between Sneiderman and Neuman, and other witness interviews dealing with Neuman and Sneiderman.
3:34p.m.: Judge calls a brief recess.
3:32 p.m.: Dr. Marks says as a forensic psychologist her job is to decide whether a person has the abiltity to determine right from wrong in a criminal case. She was asked by the prosecution to do a forensic evaluation of Neuman in August 2011.
3:25 p.m.: Foreign psychologist Tracey Marks is called to testify. She spends time listing her credentials. She has been retained to do a forensic evaluation for insanity of Hemy Neuman.
3:20 p.m.: Dr. Flores' testimony ends for today.
3:07 p.m.: Is that significant that Dr. Thomas said that Neuman was not malingering or faking? Flores is asked. Flores said it was significant because it backed up findings she made before reading Dr. Thomas' report.
3:02 p.m. She said documents backed up what Neuman told her about the amount of time he and Sneiderman spent on phone calls and test messages. Asked if there had been a recurring pattern of statements from Sneiderman about the children and how they interacted with Rusty, and was that also confirmed by the documents? Flores said yes. On cross, she was asked if there has been one test performed by one doctor that indicates that Neuman was malingering or faking. Flores said no, that tests show he was underreporting his psychological problems.
2:55 p.m.: On cross-examination, Flores is asked if Neuman had lied to her, would that alter her diagnosis. She said it could. She said she had studied and analyzed documents in the case. She confirmed that she didn't simply take Neuman's word on what transpired between him and Andrea Sneiderman. She said documents confirmed what Neuman told her had happened in Colorado and in Greeville, S.C.
2:37 p.m.: Judge calls for a short break.
2:35 p.m.: Flores is asked if an expert observed Neuman for one whole year, could his or her diagnosis of him be relevant if they found Neuman to be normal? Flores said there could be long periods of time when a bi-polar person would seem normal, meaning not experienceing manic or depressive episodes, so the observation of his mental state might not be relevant.
2:30 p.m.: Asked if she could say for sure that Neuman did not lie to her about his mental state, Flores answered: "No, I cannot say with 100 percent certainty," but she said her years of training and her dealing with mentally ill people and her extensive interviews with Neuman, led her to her diagnosis.
2:25 p.m.: Geary asks Flores if the fact that the first time Neuman speaks of an angel or a demon is to her and not to other experts, set off alarms? She said it didn't surprise her that he hadn't discussed them with anyone else because it was embarassing to do so.
2:20 p.m.: Geary asked Flores if Neuman told someone a few minutes before she interviews him that he knew what he did was wrong, and he did what he did only to be with Andrea, would it affect her decision? She said it could make her re-think her opinion. "Many people who are bi-polar know the difference between right and wrong," Atty. Geary asks Flores. She answers yes.
2:12 p.m.: Flores asserted that Neuman was delusional and had lost touch with reality when he killed Sneiderman. She said the delusion was that he had to protect the children and that he was going to be with Andrea Sneiderman. Geary hammered away at whether Neuman knew what he did was wrong when he wore a disguise and hid the killing from police and Andrea.
2:05 p.m. Geary questions Flores about whether Neuman's concern about being found out by the police would mean that he knows right from wrong. She answers yes. She continues to assert that Neuman was in a state of delusional behavior when he shot Sneiderman. She is asked about whether she found independent verifications of Neuman's hallucinations? She said the only source was Neuman. If he was lying to you about that then your diagnosis would be wrong," Geary asked. "Yes, I would be wrong, Flores said.
2 p.m.: Flores said that if Neuman lied to her about his delusion, then her diagnosis would be wrong. However, she said she did not believe Neuman was malingering(faking) his delusions. If another doctor did a test and said Neuman was malingering, would you care, or would it affect your opinion, Geary asks? Flores said she would care, but it would probably be a case of battling experts.
1:57 p.m.: Flores said she reviewed summaries and that she felt she had the pertinent information to make her diagnosis. She said she could have asked for more information if she needed it. At the time of the shooting, Neuman's prominent symptom was delusional. His behavior would be expected to look normal under that episode, Flores said.
1:50 p.m. Geary asks if Neuman's mission was to be with Sneiderman or the kids? She says his first mission was to protect the children, then to be with Sneirderman and the kids.
1:45 p.m. Flores is asked whether if his actions of wanting to be with his (Sneiderman's) kids, then why didn't he try to be with the kids after he killed their father. Flores said the most important thing was to make sure children are safe, then go ahead and be with the family.
1:34 p.m.: Flores describes Neuman's "demon" as a realization of his inner feelings and feelings of hurt and abandonment.
1:30 p.m.: Court is called back into session. Flores testifies how she diagnosed Neuman's depression, going back to his time as a student in Israel. Geary asks that if Neuman is lying to her about depression, then her opinion of him is wrong. Yes, she answers.
11:59 a.m.: Judge calls a lunch break until 1:30 p.m.
11:55 a.m.: Flores said there was no indication that Neuman was lying to her, in fact, he seemed very forthcoming, she said. "If I knew, with 100 percent certainty, that Mr. Neuman had been lying to me, then yes, it does change my opinion," says Dr. Flores when Geary compares the information Neuman gave her with information he gave other psychologists who evaluated him.
11:52 a.m.: Geary asks Flores why she mentioned 30 people in her testimony, but only refers to seven people in her report of Neuman's psychological state.
11:50 a.m.: Flores was asked whether intelligence levels could sway results of the test she used to diagnose Neuman? She said no. She said the basis of her report is interviews with Neuman, other reports and corroborating interviews. She said there wasn't any one piece of data that informed her opinion.
11:40 a.m.: Flores said she didn't review Dr. Thomas' psychological reports on Neuman. She said if she had, those reports would not necessarily sway her evaluation of Neuman.
11:30 a.m.: On cross-examination, Dekalb County chief Assistant D.A. Don Geary asked Flores at what point she had made her mind up about Neuman. She said she had made up her mind after meeting with him for nine hours. She was asked if she then made recommendations to the jail for Neuman's care knowing that he had had suicidal thoughts? She said she made none. She said Neuman was not in imminent danger to himself or others. "When I saw him he was back to normal where he wasn't a threat to himself or others," she responded. "Why not take precautions?" she was asked. "Because the jail has mental health staff," she answered.
11:26 a.m.: Flores testified that Neuman never said in any reports that he saw an angel that looked like Olivia Newton-John, only that the angel he saw sounded like Newton-John. Similarly Neuman said the demon didn't look like Barry White, but sounded like Barry White. Flores said everything that she reviewed points to the fact that Neuman was insane at the time he shot Sneiderman.
11:15 a.m.: Judge huddles with attorneys over that objection for 10 minutes. The testimony then continues. Flores says from her review of the case, Neuman did not show signs of malingering. "First of all malingerers put it all out there. They want you to know every symptom they're supposed to have," she said. She said Neuman did not do that. She said he was forthcoming in describing the shooting. She said malingerers tend to fake their recollections.
11:05 a.m.: Peters continues his questioning of Dr. Flores. She has a copy of records of marital therapy sessions between Neuman and his wife. Flores said that her diagnosis is consistent with that diagnosis of Neuman. She is then asked about another report by psychologist Pam Crawford, whose opinion is that Neuman is ‘malingering' or faking mental illness. Flores said she disagreed with that opinion. The defense objected to her being allowed to comment on Crawford's report.
10:40 a.m.: Adams calls for a break to consider the arguments.
10:30 a.m.: Adams sends jurors to the jury room, continues to meet with attorneys.
10:20 a.m.: Judge huddles with attorneys over an objection to testimony about the Neumans' marriage counseling sessions with another psychologist.
10:15 a.m.: Judge returns to courtroom, calls jury back in. Flores resumes testimony, says Neuman did not obey the "demon" who told him to commit suicide due to concerns for the children, but he obeyed the "angel" who told him to kill Rusty Sneiderman because it was "the right thing to do for the children" in his mind.
10:02 a.m: Judge Adams calls for 10-minute break.
10:00 a.m.: Flores says Neuman and Andrea's conversations were "saturated" with talk about the children "not having what they needed," and that Neuman had been "ruminating all this information she had been giving him" and he's thinking that they might be experiencing what he experienced as a child and Neuman experienced a "transitory hallicination" in seeing the angel who told him he must protect the children.
9:50 a.m.: Judge Adams sustains prosecution's objection to the way Peters' questions are formatted. Flores says Andrea Sneiderman's "pushing and pulling," saying "I love you but I can't have you" is "very powerful in creating a strong attachment" and made his delusions stronger. She says Andrea was "planting suggestions" and influencing Neuman to behave in a way that matched her feelings and desires.
9:45 a.m.: Flores says there is a history of bipolar disorder in Neuman's family. She says she is "not surprised at all" that people who knew Neuman did not see abnormal behavior in him. She draws a distinction between people who are delusional and schizophrenic and says delusional people can appear normal.
9:40 a.m.: Neuman's actions through the past 15 years show evidence of bipolar behavior -- going from extremes of depression to great highs to psychosis. She says delusional behavior would not be evident to most people, that only Andrea Sneiderman saw this phase of Neuman's behavior.
9:35 a.m.: Flores says Neuman's denials in the police interview don't change her opinion that he is legally insane. She says his sole focus was to keep Andrea from finding out that he was the killer.
9:30 a.m.: She says Neuman told her "he's not sure he would have stopped" from killing Sneiderman even if the police had been at the scene at the time; he was more concerned about protecting the children, she says, and was not concerned about the police. She says he believed that killing Sneiderman "was the right thing for him to do." She says Neuman "has no memory loss" about the crime and she says this is evidence that Neuman is not "malingering."
9:25 a.m.: Flores says Neuman believed he was rescuing the Sneiderman children from Rusty Sneiderman, who he believed posed a danger to the children. She says the fact that Neuman disguised himself and disposed of the murder weapon does not change her diagnosis that he was legally insane. She says Neuman believed he and Andrea had a "special connection" and that they would live together and raise the children after Rusty was killed.
9:15 a.m.: Flores tells defense attorney Doug Peters that Andrea was sharing more with Neuman about her family problems than she shared with anyone else. She says while in London, Neuman helped Andrea pick out gifts for her children. Flores says this and emails about the children to Andrea are "something a parent would do."
9:10 a.m.: Flores reviews emails between Hemy Neuman and Andrea Sneiderman discussing plans to go to a dance club when they are in London. An email after the trip from Andrea says "tension is bad" now that she's back home. Flores says the emails show a pattern of "pushing and pulling" of Neuman by Andrea Sneiderman.
9:06 a.m.: Jury enters courtroom, psychologist Adriana Flores is sworn in to resume testimony for the defense.
9:03 a.m.: Judge Adams enters courtoom.
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