HOW ANDREA SNEIDERMAN WAS CONVICTED
Andrea Sneiderman was convicted of 9 of the 13 felony counts against her, including perjury, providing false statements to investigators and hindering the apprehension of a criminal. Sneiderman did not testify during her 10-day trial but testimony she gave in the murder trial of her former boss, Hemy Neuman, played a crucial role in her conviction Monday. Neuman was sentenced to life in prison in March 2012 for fatally shooting Sneiderman’s husband, Rusty, outside a Dunwoody day care facility.
Here is what likely left an impression on the jury, influencing its verdict.
The prosecution proved: Sneiderman lied to investigators and jurors about the nature of her relationship with Neuman, hindering the police investigation into the capture of her husband’s killer.
The defense argued: Sneiderman did not have an affair and, if she did, so what? Defense attorney Tom Clegg said the case was essentially about whether Sneiderman exchanged a kiss with Neuman while dancing at a bar in Greenville, S.C. Sneiderman’s team noted repeatedly that their client provided police with Neuman’s name one day after her husband was shot – without her, they said, he may have never been arrested.
The biggest reason the prosecution won: Sneiderman’s own words. The strongest evidence, according to one juror, was Sneiderman’s contentious testimony in the Neuman trial. Prosecutors replayed portions of it repeatedly, including during DeKalb County District Attorney Robert James’ closing argument. In it, she appeared to contradict statements she had made to investigators about her relationship with Neuman, her supervisor at GE Energy. The testimony also revealed details Sneiderman had not disclosed to police as they searched for her husband’s killer.
The defense’s strongest argument: In a spirited closing, Clegg went after Dunwoody Police, accusing them of mishandling the investigation into Rusty Sneiderman’s death and then trying to cover their mistakes by blaming his client. Even though Andrea Sneiderman told them that her boss had made advances toward her, police never interviewed Neuman until six weeks after the shooting – and then only because they found he had rented a minivan similar to the one seen leaving the scene of the crime.
The make-or-break decision: The prosecution dropping murder charges against Sneiderman the week before jury selection. James’ move to remove the weakest part of his case was controversial. But it ultimately allowed prosecutors to focus on the strongest part of their case by proving Andrea Sneiderman lied. In the end, Andrea Sneiderman was the state’s star witness.