Partly Cloudy T-storms
H 90° L 74°
  • cloudy-day
    Current Conditions
    Partly Cloudy T-storms. H 90° L 74°
  • partly-cloudy-tstorms-day
    Partly Cloudy T-storms. H 90° L 74°
  • partly-cloudy-tstorms-day
    Partly Cloudy T-storms. H 89° L 74°

Wsb news on-demand

00:00 | 00:00


Wsb traffic on-demand

00:00 | 00:00


Wsb weather on-demand

00:00 | 00:00

Judge allows dismissal of Sneiderman murder charges

Judge allows dismissal of Sneiderman murder charges

RAW VIDEO: Andrea Sneiderman walks into court

Judge allows dismissal of Sneiderman murder charges

Murder charges against Andrea Sneiderman were formally dropped Friday after a tumultuous hearing where defense attorneys accused the prosecution of overcharging the case to begin with.

But after hearing from District Attorney Robert James, DeKalb County Superior Court Judge Gregory A. Adams, who did not immediately agree to dismiss the charges of murder, felony murder and aggravated assault, relented.

Sneiderman will now stand trial on Monday facing 13 lesser counts.

Sneiderman’s lawyer, Tom Clegg, had asked Adams to delay the trial for six months to a year on grounds that Sneiderman cannot get a fair trial because of pretrial publicity. But Adams denied that motion.

The judge said 283 people will be called in Monday for jury selection. If a fair and impartial jury can’t be found after questioning the initial 283 individuals, he said, another 300 will be called in.

After James announced his intention not to pursue the three most serious criminal charges, Sneiderman’s lawyer, Clegg, said he never believed there was enough evidence to sustain the charges.

“I believe they’ve known all along they didn’t have a murder case,” Clegg said.

James called that “a cheap shot,” saying he had only arrived at his determination after receiving pretrial discovery from the defense.

“I think it would be unjust and unethical for the District Attorney’s Office to move forward on a charge I’m not 100 percent sure of,” James said.

The district attorney said he had never indicted a case where, at the outset, he did not believe he had the evidence to obtain a conviction. And he said he had never pursued a prosecution after obtaining an indictment when he was in doubt of a defendant’s guilt.

“I’m not sure as to counts one, two and three of this indictment,” James said. “…It seems absurd to me that allegation would be thrown out there. I’m struggling to see how that lacks ethics.”

Adams signaled his displeasure with the last-minute decision and called lawyers to the bench repeatedly during the three-hour hearing. Adams called a recess at one point, presumably allowing Sneiderman, who sat in a conference room with Clegg and her parents, to decide whether to accept a plea offer from the prosecution.

But she finally emerged into the courtroom, and Clegg announced the trial would begin Monday.

Sneiderman faces four perjury counts, seven counts of making false statements and one count each of hindering the apprehension of a criminal and concealment of material fact. Each charge carries maximum sentences ranging from five to 10 years in prison.

Most of those charges revolve around what Sneiderman is alleged to have said — or withheld — regarding her relationship with former boss Hemy Neuman. Neuman was found guilty but mentally ill and sentenced to life in prison for the November 2010 fatal shooting of Sneiderman’s husband, Rusty.

Prosecutors sought to use previous testimony from Neuman’s friend, Melanie White, regarding conversations they had about his relationship with Andrea Sneiderman. Neuman has already announced through his attorneys he would not testify for the state.

‘There was a romantic and physical relationship between the two of them,” said prosecutor Anna Cross. “The state expects there will be a lot of information about the relationship presented from witnesses other than Mrs. White.”

But the defense argued that White and Neuman were not particularly close and that his word could not trusted.

“There’s a lot of questions to his character and mental stability,” said defense attorney J. Tom Morgan. “He is a certifiable, judicially determined lunatic.”

Neuman has already stated, through his attorneys, he will not take the stand in the Sneiderman trial.

Sneiderman was initially indicted as Neuman’s co-conspirator following her arrest last August. She was re-indicted twice this year, charged as a “party to the crime” of murder rather than a conspirator. Georgia law defines that, in part, as intentionally advising, encouraging, hiring, counseling or procuring another to commit a crime.

Read More

There are no comments yet. Be the first to post your thoughts. or Register.


  • The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is making progress on a massive backlog of rape kits and has already identified 88 suspects in those cases. Only Channel 2 Action News was there as the GBI briefed key lawmakers about its progress. House Speaker David Ralston and other Georgia lawmakers toured the GBI's crime lab Monday to find out more about the kits. Georgia had more than 5,000 kits backlogged for as long as 10 years. After the legislature passed a law requiring testing, the GBI started processing them last summer. Since then, they've tested 979 kits, and from those, they got 88 hits on a national DNA database, meaning they've identified 88 suspects in those cases. RELATED STORIES: State investigating hundreds of untested rape kits linked to children Channel 2 investigates Georgia rape kits going untested State crime lab to get hundreds more untested rape kits Ralston, who helped push the law through the state house, says this is a big step to getting justice for victims. 'It's really, really gratifying to know that we can really look victims in the eye now and tell them that ... we're serious about bringing justice,' Ralston said. State Rep. Scott Holcomb wrote the bill requiring the testing. He says it's just as important to make sure that there's never a backlog again. 'I'm very encouraged,' Holcomb said. 'We know that this problem is going to be solved.' GBI director Vernon Keenan says they expect to have 95 percent of the rape kits tested by June 2019. 'We're bringing justice to sexual-assault victims and law enforcement and prosecutors are very thankful, and I know that the victims are,' Kennan said. The crime lab also has to test new rape kits, along with DNA from other crimes, too. We have new information about how the GBI is reducing the state's large number of backlogged Sexual Assault Kits. pic.twitter.com/CxSpC1CttY-- Richard Elliot (@RElliotWSB) July 24, 2017
  • Channel 2 Action News has confirmed DeKalb County Sheriff Jeff Mann returned to work Monday morning, following a 40-day governor-ordered suspension. The suspension was linked to findings from an investigation into Mann's arrest on May 6 in Piedmont Park. Mann is charged with indecency and obstruction for exposing himself in Piedmont Park before running from an Atlanta Police Department bicycle officer. Mann's case is still pending in Atlanta Municipal Court, where his attorney has entered a motion to dismiss the case based on double jeopardy. Mann is asking the court to consider his suspension, which was ordered by Gov. Deal, as punishment served in the case. As of Friday, Judge Crystal Gaines had not yet made a ruling on the case. The case is scheduled to be heard Thursday afternoon, following a reset earlier this month. Since June 13, Capt. Ruth Stringer has served as interim sheriff of DeKalb County. RELATED STORIES: Judge appoints interim sheriff in place of DeKalb Sheriff Jeffrey Mann Sheriff accused of indecency headed to trial DeKalb sheriff suspends himself after indecency arrest Investigation into sheriff's alleged indecent acts to continue DeKalb sheriff ran after being caught in park for indecent acts, police say Residents say sheriff's arrest one more dark cloud on DeKalb County Her appointment was made by a DeKalb County Superior Court judge following the governor's executive order. That appointment also followed a self-imposed suspension in late May that Mann announced to his staff via an internal memo. Voter reaction Some DeKalb voters seemed indifferent to news of Mann's return Monday. 'When you have that much power, you can kind of do what you want to do,' said Niya Johnson. 'That's how it's working nowadays in today's society, unfortunately.' Johnson never expected Mann's career to suffer from the incident. 'He can do whatever he wants and still go back to work,' she said. 'That's how that works.' Kailand Davis's only problem with the case is Mann's request for it to be dismissed from Atlanta Municipal Court. 'Nah, see, that's him trying to get above the law. He needs to face charges,' said Davis. 'Everyone gets suspended for doing something at work, but this is a criminal offense he committed so he should trialed (be tried) just like anyone else.' DeKalb resident Lisa Keys said she found it difficult to explain the situation to her children. 'What if you have your kids there at the park and they see something like that? That's not fair to those kids. That's something he should have did (in) personal time. That's a personal thing.' Mann entered a plea of not guilty to both charges prior to the case reset last month.
  • A small airplane landed on Ga. 316 in Gwinnett County on Monday afternoon, police said. The plane is registered to a Buford man, FAA records show. It appears to be designed to look like a Messerschmitt BF 109, a plane used by Nazi Germany in World War II. The design includes a swastika on the plane’s tail. The aircraft landed safely just before 1 p.m. and there were no injuries reported, according to Gwinnett County police. The plane landed on the highway near Harbins Road, the same intersection where an accident involving a milk truck spill snarled traffic earlier this month.  Gwinnett teen suing CSX after train accident severed his legs Fred Meyer, who was piloting the plane, was the only person on board. He does not own the aircraft but built the engine and helps take care of the maintenance, he told Channel 2 Action News. “The engine just quit, it just died,” Meyer told Channel 2. “You just sort of fall back on your training at that point in time. You dont think of the circumstances, you just think of your training.” The landing took place about three miles east of the Gwinnett County Airport at 12:45 p.m. After the landing near Dacula, the plane was pulled into the median. The plane was described by a Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman as a “Sonex experimental, amateur-built aircraft.” Sonex is a company that sells kits that allow people to build their own airplanes. Meyer told Channel 2 the Nazi design was “just for fun.” “A lot of people like to paint these planes up like old war birds,” Meyer said.  Like Gwinnett County News on Facebook | Follow us on Twitter and Instagram In other Gwinnett news:
  • Children whose sexual characteristics don't neatly align with the norm have for decades faced surgery to rearrange their anatomy to resemble that of more typical boys and girls — long before they were old enough to have a say in the decision. But now the practice is under assault, as never before. The American Medical Association is considering a proposal discouraging it. Three former U.S. surgeons-general say it's unjustified. And on Tuesday, Human Rights Watch and InterACT a group advocating for intersex youth — are releasing a detailed report assailing the practice and urging Congress to ban it. 'The results are often catastrophic,' says the report, asserting that the surgeries 'can inflict irreversible physical and psychological harm.' 'The pressure to fit in and live a 'normal' life is real,' said Kyle Knight, a Human Rights Watch researcher who wrote the report. 'But there is no evidence that surgery delivers on the promise of making that easier.' One of multiple reasons for the concern: Some intersex children may undergo surgery aimed at assigning them as male or female, yet grow up to identify as the other sex — a potentially traumatic situation. Intersex is an umbrella term encompassing various conditions in which internal sex organs and external genitalia develop differently than for a typical boy or girl. Experts say roughly one of every 2,000 newborns has so-called differences of sex development that might prompt a doctor's recommendation for surgery or other medical intervention. Internationally, there's been vocal opposition to such surgeries. In 2015, they were condemned by several United Nations agencies, and Malta became the first country to ban them. Major U.S. medical associations haven't gone that far, but the Human Rights Watch/InterACT report urges them to toughen their policies. The American Academy of Pediatrics says it's reviewing the issue, and wants parents to understand the risks and benefits of any course of action. The AMA's Board of Trustees is proposing a new policy statement urging doctors to defer intersex surgery on infants and young children 'except when life-threatening circumstances require emergency intervention.' Adding to the momentum was a statement in June from former surgeons-general Joycelyn Elders, David Satcher and Richard Carmona, who said the surgery 'is not justified absent a need to ensure physical functioning,' they wrote. 'We hope that professionals and parents who face this difficult decision will heed the growing consensus that the practice should stop.' There are no comprehensive statistics on intersex surgeries. The new report says most of the 21 health professionals who were interviewed suggested that medically unnecessary surgeries were becoming less common, but none said their clinic had stopped doing them altogether. Even as the new report was being compiled, it came under fire from the CARES Foundation , which advocates on behalf of families with children born with abnormal genitalia due to a condition called congenital adrenal hyperplasia, or CAH. Girls with this condition sometimes undergo reconstructive surgery, often to reduce the size of the clitoris. The foundation, which has more than 20 physicians as advisers, asserted that the new report represents an unwarranted attempt to eliminate that option. 'The choices available to parents and patients should not be limited,' the foundation said. 'Medical decisions are difficult enough for parents without having to contend with the moral and philosophical agendas of certain movements.' The new report includes input from an unidentified 20-year-old woman with CAH who said she was glad her parents made her 'look like all the other girls' her age when she was growing up. However, Kyle Knight said there's no evidence that this type of abnormal genitalia poses a health threat. 'There are limits to what parents can do to their kids,' he said. 'Medically unnecessary irreversible surgery that carries a risk of lifelong harm should be one of those things.' For families with intersex children, one welcome development has been the formation of specialized teams at some hospitals that address a wide range of physical and psychological concerns. Among the acclaimed programs is the SOAR Clinic, created in 2012 at Children's Hospital Colorado near Denver. Its team — which includes specialists in urology, genetics, psychology and other fields — develops an individualized treatment plan for each family, and encourages parents to participate in decision-making. The issue of surgery for infants and young children is one of the toughest facing the team. 'These are really difficult, challenging decisions,' said Dr. Jennifer Barker, who specializes in hormonal and glandular complications affecting children. 'We've seen families decide to move forward to surgery, and some who choose not to.' Barker guessed that most of the team's physicians would feel unduly restricted by a ban, even as early surgery becomes less common. The clinic deploys intersex people as patient advocates who can offer support based on personal experience. The most active volunteer is 40-year-old Noi Liang. At birth, Liang appeared to be a normal baby girl. As she grew older, doctors discovered that — because of a rare chromosome condition — she lacked a uterus, and had internal testes rather than ovaries. When she was a teenager, doctors removed the testes, telling her they were removing potentially cancerous ovaries. Not until her early 30s did she discover the truth. As a patient advocate, she sees parents worrying whether their children will be accepted by their peers. 'Isolation is a big piece of what they struggle with — they feel like there's no one else to talk to,' Liang said. 'They say it gives them a feeling of relief to speak with someone like me who more fully understands what they and their children are going through.' Several parents of intersex children have become activists, advocating against early surgery. Among them is Dr. Arlene Baratz, a Pittsburgh-based radiologist with two adult daughters born with the same condition as Liang. 'If there is a secret to raising healthy children,' Baratz contends, 'it is to accept and focus on what they are, instead of what they're not.' ___ Follow David Crary on Twitter at http://twitter.com/CraryAP
  • Citing an increasing cost of living and relatively stagnant pay, workers at Disney parks in Central Florida are working with the company to negotiate a higher minimum wage. >> Read more trending news Travis Joyner is a driver at Animal Kingdom’s safari ride, one of the park’s most popular attractions. He enjoys his job, but has a hard time making ends meet while being paid less than $12 an hour. “My goal is to eventually make enough money that I don’t have to decide which bill gets paid this month and which one doesn’t,” Joyner said. Joyner and 36,000 other Disney employees are represented by a union, which negotiated a minimum wage of $10 for cast members in 2014. The contract allows for the union to reopen wage talks in 2017. “It’s very difficult to make ends meet in a town where rent continues to go up and wages have stayed fairly stagnant,” union president Eric Clinton said. The two sides have until October to come to an agreement, which the company said would be fair all around. “We plan to put forth an overall employment package that is fair and equitable for the cast and the company,” Walt Disney World Resort Vice President Jacquee Wahler said in a media statement. Employees such as Belinda Osorio, who works as a housekeeper for Disney, hope the new agreement will give them a financial boost that allows them to keep doing the jobs they love. “We work so hard to make magic for all these people, and we need Disney to make magic for their cast members,” Osorio said.
  • Criminal charges are possible after a 5-year old boy drowned at a south Fulton County summer camp. The drowning happened Friday at the Cochran Mill Nature Center in Palmetto. According to the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning, the camp was not licensed but the department said in some cases camps don't have to register with the state or get a license. In a statement late Monday evening, the department said: 'Our investigation today has confirmed that Camp Cricket Summer Day Camp at Cochran Mill Park was operating without a license or exemption from licensing. Our agency is issuing a cease and desist order for the program.' The boy's family told Channel 2's Lori Wilson that they are heartbroken after entrusting their son to the care of camp counselors. 'Never in a million years did I think that I would be standing here doing something like this,' mother Ayisat Idris Hosch said. 'His brother was his best friend. He was his father's shadow, and he was my heart.' TRENDING STORIES: Teen accused of DUI, livestreaming video of crash that killed sister Waitress outraged after she says man handed her menu with swastika Family mourns father of 5 shot to death in car Hosch is talking about her son Benjamin Kamau, 5. He died Friday while attending Camp Cricket at the Cochran Mill Nature Center. Police said he was with a small group of children who took their lunch near a waterfall. It wasn't until the group of 13 children and 4 adults got ready to head back to camp that they noticed Benjamin was missing. 'They robbed us of his life, of his potential. They took that from us and I am broken,' Hosch said. A statement from the camp today said: 'The Board, Staff and Volunteers of the Cochran Mill Nature Center are heartbroken and distraught over this tragedy. On Friday, July 21, a group of 13 children attended day camp at Cochran Mill Nature Center. This small group of children, supervised by 4 adults, walked down a nearby trail for a lunch outing. 'Following lunch, the children were allowed to splash in a shallow adjacent creek. 'When the group gathered to leave the creek, the adults realized that one child was missing. The child was found a short distance away in a pool of water in an area that had not been visited by the group. CPR was administered and the child was transported by EMS to the hospital. 'Cochran Mill Nature Center has hosted summer camps and other outings for children of all ages for 23 years. The camps focus is on nature and the outdoors. Thousands of children have attended the camps over the years without incident except for minor scrapes, bumps and bruises. 'In 2016, over 15,000 children visited. Cochran Mill is a non-profit organization whose mission is to help injured wild animals and provide educational tours and camps for children. Please Note: According to Press reports, a lawsuit is being filed against the camp. The Board, Staff and Volunteers have been advised to submit no further comments at this time.' 'This isn't an accident, this is gross, insane negligence.' Attorney for the boy who drowned at camp, speaking out right now. @wsbtv pic.twitter.com/IfS0NbzPsW-- Audrey Washington (@AudreyWSBTV) July 24, 2017 'Their negligence killed my son. They didn't tell me what they were doing with my son,' Hosch said. The mother said Benjamin couldn't swim. 'Somebody's got to pay for what happened. Someone has to be held responsible,' Hosch said. 'I can't go on. I have to live (with the fact) that I gave them money to kill my son, for the rest of my life. I paid them to kill my son.' In a statement to Channel 2 Action News, spokesman Reg Griffin wrote: 'Camp Cricket Summer Day Camp at Cochran Mill Park is an unlicensed program that was unknown to the State of Georgia until the reporting of this tragic incident today. We are currently investigating this incident. Georgia law allows for situations where a child care service can be exempt from state licensing requirements based on the ages of children, duration of the program, hours of operation, specific activities, or where services are offered free of charge. It appears that Camp Cricket was neither licensed nor had it applied for and received exempt status from the state. Due to the pending investigation, that is all the information I have at this time.