Information from the AP was used in this report
Lawyers for both sides asked potential jurors about their knowledge of the case and their ability to be objective as they worked Monday to whittle down the pool of prospective jurors for the trial of Andrea Sneiderman.
Sneiderman was arrested about a year ago after prosecutors accused her of arranging for her husband, Rusty Sneiderman, to be killed.
But DeKalb County District Attorney Robert James on Friday asked the judge to dismiss felony murder, malice murder and aggravated assault charges against Andrea Sneiderman. DeKalb County Superior Court Judge Gregory Adams on Monday signed an order dropping those charges.
Andrea Sneiderman, 37, still faces lesser charges, including lying to police, lying under oath and hindering an investigation. Sneiderman could still face five to 10 years on each of the 13 remaining charges.
Her husband was gunned down in November 2010 outside Dunwoody preschool shortly after dropping off the couple's then 2-year-old son. Andrea Sneiderman's former boss, Hemy Neuman, was convicted in the killing but found mentally ill in March 2012.
Sneiderman has pleaded not guilty. Since the murder charge was dropped, Sneiderman’s bond has also been reduced from $500 thousand to $50 thousand. She is also no longer under house arrest.
Lawyers for both sides asked potential jurors about their knowledge of the high-profile case and whether they had any opinions about it or about Sneiderman's guilt or innocence. They also asked about the jurors' interactions with law enforcement, the judicial system and divorce proceedings. Jury selection was expected to last several days.
WSB’s Jon Lewis reports jury selection is moving along very quickly. 22 potential jurors have been empaneled. The court needs 40 before they can begin whittling them down to 14, 12 jurors and two alternates. That phase is expected to start Thursday afternoon, with testimony beginning on Monday.
Prosecutors have said Neuman and Sneiderman, both of whom were married at the time, were having an extramarital affair. Sneiderman has consistently denied any romantic involvement with Neuman.
During Neuman's monthlong trial last year, the focus was often on Andrea Sneiderman. She was grilled by lawyers on both sides and responded with occasional hostility and emotion to questions from both sets of lawyers.
The trial included days of testimony on Andrea Sneiderman's actions before and after her husband's killing and whether she knew details of her husband's death before she was told.
Phone records presented at trial showed she and Neuman exchanged three phone calls on the eve of her husband's death and that she called him six more times on the way to the hospital. She testified that she didn't know her husband had been shot until she reached the hospital about an hour after the shooting. But her father-in-law and a close friend testified that during calls on the way to the hospital, she told them he had been shot.