Jury Seated In Neuman Murder Trial
DEKALB CO. – (AP/AJC/WAOK) Attorneys for the Dunwoody day care shooter and prosecutors argued Thursday before a DeKalb County judge what jurors can hear about the defendant’s state of mind when the man’s trial begins next week. Hemy Neuman has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity in the killing of Rusty Sneiderman at a Dunwoody day care in 2010. Hemy Neuman has acknowledged fatally wounding Rusty Sneiderman in November 2010 but has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity, saying he was unable to distinguish between right and wrong at the time of the shooting. At a hearing Thursday before Judge Gregory Adams, defense attorney Doug Peters read from the evaluation of Neuman, 49, saying his client believed he had been “commanded” to kill Sneiderman. Peters did not say who issued the command. The defense has requested that the prosecution be ordered not to discuss the extent of the delusions allegedly experienced by Neuman, saying they did not plan to claim his disorder precipitated the shooting. “We agree,” said Don Geary, DeKalb chief assistant district attorney, “but when their report talks about six-foot demons that look like Barry White and six-foot angels that look like Olivia Newton-John, we have to prepare for the defense they led us into.” Neuman also has said he believes he is the father of Sneiderman’s two young children and that he feared for their safety, Peters said. Geary agreed not to discuss the extent of Neuman’s alleged compulsion, and Judge Adams said he might not let defense attorneys bring it up, either. Also on Thursday, attorneys concluded selecting a jury winnowed down from a pool of 250. A panel of 12 women and four men — four whom will serve as alternates — was picked. Opening statements in the trial of the Cobb County engineer are scheduled for Tuesday. Prosecutors are likely to argue the shooting occurred because of an alleged extramarital affair between Neuman and Andrea Sneiderman, Rusty Sneiderman’s widow, according to court documents released last fall. Andrea Sneiderman appears on both the prosecution and defense witness lists. Neuman was the woman’s supervisor at GE Energy. Neither she nor her attorney has commented on the specific allegations made in prosecution filings and more directly by attorney Esther Panitch, who represents the defendant’s estranged wife, Ariela Neuman. Rusty Sneiderman, 36 at the time of his death, likely did not see his shooter approach, according to investigators. The victim knew his assailant, having met him for lunch a few months before the shooting to help Neuman in his search for new employment.