One more time, DeKalb County deputies approached Hemy Neuman and clicked on the cuffs.
The former GE Energy executive, 53, was convicted Tuesday in a retrial over the 2010 murder of Rusty Sneiderman outside a Dunwoody day care. The jury rejected claims that mental illness drove the defendant to kill.
The verdict was but the latest development in a case that has drawn national attention in the dragging prosecutions of Neuman and Andrea Sneiderman, who was the victim’s wife and Neuman’s alleged mistress. Andrea Sneiderman, who was previously implicated in her husband’s death, released a statement Tuesday to Channel 2 Action News, praising the verdict which sent “this cold-blooded killer” to prison “where he belongs.”
Judge Gregory A. Adams took just a few moments to give Neuman life without parole, again.
Adams gave the same sentence in 2012 after Neuman’s initial conviction, which was overturned last year by Georgia’s Supreme Court because of an attorney-client privilege issue.
Asked to make a statement to the court Tuesday, the killer declined. The victim’s brother is hoping Neuman doesn’t get another chance.
With contempt in his voice, Steven Sneiderman read a statement on the witness stand during the sentencing hearing. He repeatedly referred to the defendant as the “confessed and duly convicted killer.”
Neuman indeed has long admitted killing Rusty Sneiderman as the victim dropped his son off at the day care, but Neuman claimed he was delusional and motivated by longing for Andrea Sneiderman. The first jury found Neuman guilty but mentally ill; the second just found him guilty, which means he'll be transferred to a regular prison, rather than the diagnostic facility in which he's been held.
Steven Sneiderman said losing his brother was hard enough, but the legal process has only served to compound his pain. Both Neuman and Andrea Sneiderman fought their charges, causing the victim’s family to return to court many times in the past six years. The wife was ultimately found guilty of perjury and hindering the apprehension of a killer.
Each hearing in the process has been a grim occasion for the victim’s family.
“Again and again, we have been forced to listen through clinical and witness descriptions of his death,” Steven Sneiderman said. “How many times do we have to listen to him die?”
He glared at Neuman.
“He has caused this entire spectacle…to be broadcast over the internet,” the brother said.
Andrea Sneiderman, who has been a target for suspicions but maintained her innocence, also spoke on the legal process in her statement.
"After a six-year ordeal, millions of taxpayer dollars spent, a DA’s personal vendetta, and my own public persecution by those who wanted to profit from my loss, this monster’s calculated efforts to destroy lives is finally over," she said. "His path of destruction has come to an end and the healing process for all of his victims can begin."
Steven Sneiderman asked Adams to impose the harshest sentence possible, life without parole. He said Neuman effectively gave the victim’s parents and young children a similar sentence: life without their loved one.
Rusty Sneiderman? He got the death penalty for simply being in Neuman's way, an execution plotted and carried out “with callous disregard,” Steven Sneiderman said.
No one came to the hearing to speak on the defendant’s behalf.
His ex-wife, who divorced him after the murder, and his kids want nothing to do with him, defense attorney Letitia Delan said.
But Delan said Neuman is sorry.
“He is deeply remorseful,” she said.
She added: “The defense team has no doubt the defendant is mentally ill.”
During the trial, a forensic psychologist testified that she believed Neuman suffered from undiagnosed bipolar disorder and was experiencing a manic episode during the murder, according to Channel 2.
The state didn’t buy it.
District Attorney Robert James called it an “old-fashioned murder.”
“This murder was cold, this murder was calculated, this murder was cruel,” he said during the sentencing. He planned “every detail of this murder.”
Then Neuman took “every step possible not to be caught” and pretended to grieve.
“He poured dirt on the grave,” the DA said. “He did it to conceal his actions because no one would ever think to look for the killer at the graveside.”
On Tuesday, the killer could be found in court, restrained in the cuffs, walking away to prison.
But later in the afternoon, Channel 2 reported that his attorney vowed to file another appeal.