Chance of Rain
H 65° L 44°
  • cloudy-day
    Current Conditions
    Chance of Rain. H 65° L 44°
  • heavy-rain-day
    Chance of Rain. H 65° L 44°
  • clear-day
    Mostly Clear. H 56° L 32°

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.


  • Authorities are investigating after receiving reports Monday morning of a shooting at a high school in Texas, the Ellis County Sheriff's Office confirmed. >> Read more trending news
  • Dramatic video captured the moment a Georgia girl was thrown off a ladder and caught by a heroic firefighter weeks ago. Now, the two have reunited.  >> Watch the news report here WSB-TV was there when DeKalb County Fire Capt. Scott Stroup met the girl this weekend.  >> WATCH: Firefighter catches child thrown from burning building The fire ripped through the Avondale Forest Apartments on Jan. 3.  >> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news  Helmet camera video showed the moment the toddler was dropped down to a firefighter as the flames roared around them. >> Read more trending news  An estimated 50 people were left without a place to live after the massive fire at the Decatur apartment complex. >> Watch the raw video here
  • The White House said Monday that Cabinet members are delaying their departure for this year's World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland amid the federal government shutdown.Spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said they will determine what to do 'as the day goes on and as we see how the next couple of hours go.'Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin is leading a delegation of Cabinet members and top aides to the glitzy summit in the Swiss Alps. He was scheduled to leave Monday, with President Donald Trump following later in the week.Trump planned to bring his 'America First' message to the conference, a gathering of global political and business elites which has rarely been attended by recent sitting presidents.Asked if Trump would attend if the government is still shutdown, Sanders said: 'I don't know that that's very likely. I wouldn't imagine it is. Our priority is making sure that the government reopened and we start having the conversations that need to take place over the next couple of weeks.'White House Legislative Affairs Director Marc Short said on Fox Business Network Monday of attending Davos that 'logistically it becomes more and more difficult if the government is shut down'He added that 'if this continues to drag on it will become more difficult to find more ways for the president to get there too.
  • The White House says President Donald Trump is focused on minimizing the harm Democrats are causing through the government shutdown.Spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Monday that managing the shutdown is the 'biggest part of the process' for Trump. She says the president is taking the 'absolute opposite approach' from President Barack Obama's administration, which she says tried to 'weaponize' a 16-day shutdown in 2013.Trump has been criticized for not meeting with lawmakers since a lunch Friday with Democratic New York Sen. Chuck Schumer.Trump also hasn't appeared in public since Friday. The White House released photos showing him in the Oval Office on Saturday and meeting with staff.Budget director Mick Mulvaney says he's meeting with Trump later Monday to go over the 'mechanics' of a shutdown.
  • A Michigan doctor who came to the United States nearly 40 years ago has been detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, WXMI reported. >> Read more trending news Lukasz Niec, who works at Bronson Healthcare in Kalamazoo, came to the United States from Poland with his parents in 1979. His family said Niec had a green card and permanent legal resident status, WXMI reported. ICE agents picked up Niec on Tuesday, his family said. His sister, Ivona Niec-Villaire, said two misdemeanors -- one for destruction of property and the other for receiving stolen property -- were included in the charging documents, and she told WXMI it was her belief that these charges were the reason ICE had detained the doctor. “When I walked into that jail cell and I had to look at him through the glass and talk with him on the phone ... I just broke down into tears,” Niec-Villaire told WXMI. “He’s scared and he’s humbled at how everyone has rallied behind him. And the first thing he said to me was, ‘I’m sorry I’m putting you through this.’ And I said, ‘You don’t have to be sorry you did nothing wrong.’” Relatives are hoping Niec’s case will be heard in early February, but said it could be weeks or even months before that occurs, WXMI reported.
  • A town less than two miles from the George Washington Bridge is putting up the 'keep out' sign for motorists seeking a shortcut to the world's busiest span.As a response to navigation apps that re-route some of the tens of thousands of vehicles headed to the bridge each morning, the New Jersey town of Leonia started barring the use of side streets to non-residents during the morning and evening commutes Monday. Violators could face a $200 fine.Local officials and police have said the decision isn't a hasty one and that they've done extensive studies of traffic patterns.Police Chief Thomas Rowe said studies have shown more than 2,000 vehicles often pass through town from just one of the three exits off Interstate 95. Leonia has about 9,200 residents and a police force of 18.'We are in a unique situation here,' Rowe said. 'We are a small town in a very busy area with a very small police force.'Maria Favale, who has lived in Leonia for nearly 30 years, said recently she tried to get to her church one morning through the congested downtown and nearly gave up.Standing outside the borough hall Monday, she noticed a marked difference: Fewer cars.'I don't know if it's because it's the first day and people are worried about tickets, but it's been great,' Favale said. 'It's beautiful; so peaceful. I can't believe it.'More than 140,000 vehicles cross the bridge each day, most during commuting hours, and when there is an accident, lane closure or other problem, it has a ripple effect. On one such day in 2014, a woman in Leonia was struck and dragged by a school bus and later died.Leonia's traffic problems have been exacerbated in the last several years as navigation apps such as Waze have exploded in popularity. They are programmed to send motorists to faster routes — and not necessarily with regard for where those routes go, Rowe said.'Any road that's open can be used regardless of topography, width, whether it's through a school zone,' he said. 'Sometimes I think they need to do a better job of seeing whether a road is suitable for cut-through traffic.'That said, Rowe said Waze has been 'extremely helpful and extremely cooperative' and has changed its app to reflect the road closures.Rowe said his officers initially will give motorists warnings, but will eventually begin writing tickets.Leonia's plan has struck a chord around the world: Rowe and Mayor Judah Zeigler have fielded interview requests from France and Canada, as well as from the major television networks and CNN.Road crews have been putting 'Do Not Enter' signs on about 60 side streets in town. Residents are exempted from the restrictions, if they display a yellow tag hanging from their rearview mirror. About 1,400 tags had been mailed to residents as of last week.'If we never write one ticket, I'd be very happy' Rowe said. 'Hopefully it will change people's driving behavior; that's the goal here.