DECATUR, Ga. (AP) — A judge has sentenced Andrea Sneiderman to a five-year prison term, and will allow her to get credit for the time she’s already served.
That means Sneiderman will spend about four years behind bars for lying to authorities who were investigating the slaying of her husband.
Sneiderman’s husband, Rusty Sneiderman, was shot in November 2010 outside a suburban Atlanta preschool. Her former boss Hemy Neuman was convicted in the killing in March 2012, but found mentally ill.
Earlier, Andrea Sneiderman said through tears at Tuesday morning’s sentencing hearing that she wanted leniency for the sake of her children.
“One of my greatest regrets will always be allowing this predator into my life,” Sneiderman told the judge shortly before the sentence was handed down.
“Mr. Neuman changed my children’s lives forever by killing their father,” she added. “Please don’t make them live without their mother.”
A string of Andrea Sneiderman’s friends also took the stand to ask the judge for leniency. Many of them told him that she is a wonderful mother and said her children needed her.
Paul Sims, who said he hasn’t seen Andrea for a year and was more a friend of Rusty Sneiderman than of Andrea Sneiderman, testified on her behalf.
“I still believe Rusty would want Andrea to be with their children,” he said. “I don’t believe that Andrea going to jail will help the children.”
But Rusty Sneiderman’s brother, Steven, called her a common criminal and a liar. She should not be allowed to use her children as “human shields” in an attempt to get a lighter sentence, he said.
“A very special man is gone because of her actions and all she can do is lie about it again and again,” he added. “Self-preservation is the only thing on her mind.”
Jurors had found her guilty of nine counts, including making false statements to investigators and perjury.
Prosecutors on Tuesday requested that she serve 20 years in prison. In the end, the judge gave Sneiderman several five-year sentences, but ordered them to run concurrently — meaning she would serve a total of five years, minus about a year that she’s already been in custody.
Prosecutors accused Sneiderman of lying to police investigating her husband’s death and lying under oath during Neuman’s trial. The 13-count indictment included charges of making false statements, hindering an investigation and perjury.
She was found guilty of hindering the apprehension of a criminal, concealment of material facts, three counts of giving false statements and four counts of perjury. She was found not guilty of three counts of perjury and one count of giving a false statement.
Prosecutors maintained that Andrea Sneiderman was having a romantic relationship with Neuman and that she repeatedly lied about the relationship, which they said hindered the investigation into her husband’s death. Sneiderman and her defense team repeatedly denied that there was a romantic relationship and said that police bungled the investigation by not focusing on Neuman even after she mentioned him to them.
She testified Tuesday that she saw Neuman as a mentor and began a friendship with him, and “the line of appropriate conduct clearly blurred.”
“In hindsight I should have told Rusty about his advances,” she said. “I should have quit my job, filed a report with HR and hid from Mr. Neuman.”
She said she regrets sharing personal feelings with Neuman, but denied having a sexual relationship with him.
Sneiderman’s defense has said prosecutors had a weak case, but were desperate to convict her of something.
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