For the first time since his arrest in January, Hemy Neuman, accused of murder, saw his wife face to face during a pretrial hearing.
Ariela Neuman testified that she learned from police officers of her husband’s arrest for the November 2010 death of Russell Sneiderman, a 36-year-old entrepreneur who was shot several times outside Dunwoody Prep daycare, where he had just dropped off his son.
Attorneys for Hemy Neuman were in DeKalb County Superior Court on Aug. 24 challenging several search warrants in the case, including warrants for Yahoo and Gmail e-mail accounts, AT&T cell phone records and one for a Jan. 4 search of the Neumans’ home in Marietta.
When police arrived at the home, they were let in by a son of the Neumans. When Ariela Neuman arrived approximately 15 minutes later, she gave the investigators permission to search the home.
“I gave them my full permission to search without a warrant,” Ariela Neuman said. “I gave them permission to take everything they want.”
Among the items taken by police during the search were a home computer and a flash drive.
Sgt. Curtis Clifton, of the Dunwoody Police Department, testified that even though they had verbal consent to search the house, they waited until the warrant had been signed.
The warrant for the search was “clearly defective” because it does not state that the Marietta house was his residence, Defense Attorney Bob Rubin argued before Superior Court Judge Gregory A. Adams.
“It doesn’t say how the house is titled,” Rubin said. “It doesn’t state any reason to believe that there’s evidence at the house relating to … the death of Mr. Sneiderman. “Based on the warrant itself and the facts contained in the affidavit, there is no probable cause” for a search.
“In this search warrant, there’s absolutely no nexus between the Nov. 18 shooting of Mr. Sneiderman at a different location in Dunwoody and the desire to search a house that’s not described as the ownership [of Neuman] in Cobb County,” Rubin said.
Hemy Neuman was not living in the Marietta home when he was arrested. He had moved out in October 2010 and was living with an elderly female roommate in a Buckhead apartment.
Ariela said she saw her husband often because he went back to the home nearly every weekend and sometimes during the week.
“He came back and forth,” Ariela Neuman said. “He had the keys. He had the remote control.”
Chief Assistant District Attorney Don Geary told the judge that the search warrant was valid because the policemen serving the warrant did not threaten or compel Ariela Neuman to allow them to search the home.
“She consented. We have a valid search,” Geary said.
In addition to the motions concerning the search warrants, Adams is considering a motion to sequester the jury during the trial, which is expected to last approximately four weeks. The trial is scheduled to begin in October.