Andrea Sneiderman’s father-in-law was mistaken when he testified that the Dunwoody widow had told him his son had been shot, the defense argued in its opening statement Monday morning.
Defense attorney Tom Clegg said Sneiderman’s recollection of the events of Nov. 18, 2010, was also foggy.
“There was no doubt” Andrea Sneiderman found out about the shooting at the scene of the crime, Clegg said. “Does she have a specific recollection about it? No she does not.”
Sneiderman testified during the trial of her former boss and alleged lover, Hemy Neuman — sentenced to life in prison for Rusty Sneiderman’s murder — that she first learned of the shooting at Atlanta Medical Center, where her husband was pronounced dead.
Rusty Sneiderman was gunned down in the parking lot of a Dunwoody day care.
Prosecutors allege that Andrea Sneiderman told her father-in-law, Don Sneiderman, as well as her former best friend and a co-worker, that her husband had been shot before she arrived at the hospital.
“She doesn’t tell her mom Rusty had been shot, she doesn’t tell her dad Rusty had been shot, she doesn’t tell her brother,” Clegg said. Don Sneiderman is “simply mistaken,” he said.
DeKalb County Assistant District Attorney Kellie Hill said Don Sneiderman “will never forget the events of that morning.”
Andrea Sneiderman, a 37-year-old mother of two, faces 13 felony counts — seven charges of perjury, four charges of making false statements, and one count each of hindering the apprehension of a criminal and concealing a material fact in connection with the death of her husband. The maximum sentences for each count range from five to 10 years in prison.
Prosecutors dropped murder charges against Sneiderman just days before jury selection began last week.
Now, their case hinges on proving lies they allege Sneiderman told to police and jurors about her relationship with Neuman. Prosecutors spent much of the afternoon session playing her testimony from the previous trial in which she was grilled about the affair.
A Greenville, S.C., bartender called as a state witness said she observed Neuman and Sneiderman “grinding” on the dance floor after exchanging passionate kisses.
Sneiderman has denied being involved in what Hill called a “forbidden romance.” Clegg said Monday that Neuman’s interest in his client was unwanted and not reciprocated.
“Rusty Sneiderman was the love of this woman’s life,” Clegg said. And though she knew of Neuman’s feelings toward her, Sneiderman never thought he was capable of murder, he said.
That’s not what she told her friends, according to the state.
“ ‘When I look at that sketch police did, I see my boss’ eyes,’ ” Hill said, quoting the defendant. “She didn’t tell police that.”
But Clegg said it was Sneiderman who first gave Dunwoody police Neuman’s name.
“On November 19th, 36 hours after her husband has been gunned down in cold blood, Andrea Sneiderman gives them the name of the man who did it and, frankly, gives them the motive,” Clegg said. “She didn’t know, and based on the guy’s personality, she had no reason to believe Hemy Neuman committed this crime.”
She “did nothing wrong,” Clegg said.
“She didn’t hide (the relationship), she didn’t conceal it, she didn’t know about it in advance, she gave (police) his name, she gave (police) motive,” he said.
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