Hemy Neuman’s motive was simple—he wanted another man’s wife so he killed the woman’s husband, an attorney for the prosecution told jurors on the opening day of Neuman’s murder trial.
Neuman, 48, is pleading not guilty by reason of insanity for the November 2010 killing of Russell Sneiderman, outside Dunwoody Prep daycare center. Sneiderman, a 36-year-old entrepreneur, was shot several times.
Neuman, who worked at GE Energy in Marietta, was the supervisor of Andrea Sneiderman, the victim’s wife.
At the time of the killing, Neuman was an operations project manager earning $180,000 and managing 5,000 engineers and a budget of $800 million, said Don Geary, chief assistant district attorney, during his opening arguments.
Neuman “wanted someone else’s wife, so he killed her husband,” Geary said. “He got caught and all of a sudden he’s insane.”
But Neuman’s attorney, Doug Peters, told the jury that the “case is not about what happened.
“We know what happened,” Peters said. “It’s about why. This man should not be released. This man is not guilty by reason of insanity.”
The prosecution will seek to show that despite alleged visits by demons that looked like Barry White and Olivia Newton-John, Neuman was not insane, but planned the alleged murder after being in an extramarital affair with Andrea Sneiderman for several months.
Neuman “attended the funeral and actually threw dirt… on Rusty Sneiderman’s” grave, Geary said. “He was hiding in plain sight.”
Peters described Neuman as “a hard worker and a great father to three precious children” who came from “a good family but from a troubled family.”
In 1944, Neuman’s father, Mark, along with 12 other family members, was captured and taken to Auschwitz during World War II. Mark Neuman spent 13 months in confinement while 11 family members were killed in gas chambers, Peters said.
After that experience, Mark Neuman “sank into darkness,” Peters said.
Hemy Neuman was born into a family where “there was violence toward the children,” Peters said. “It might have been hand. It might have been by belt. It might have been by picture frame.”
In the months before the killing, Neuman became depressed because his home was in danger of being foreclosed on. He received a bad review at work and was experiencing “severe marital problems” with his wife of 20 years, Ariela, Peters told the jury.
Neuman considered suicide in February 2010, but thought about his kids “and he couldn’t do it.”
Andrea Sneiderman entered Neuman’s life in April 2010 when he hired her, and “he fell for Andrea,” Peters said.
Peters described for the jury several trips, intimate dinners where the two “literally would share food off of each other’s plate, ” and their first kiss.
During a trip to Lake Tahoe, Nev., in July 2010, Neuman read to Andrea Sneiderman a poem that he wrote, Peters said.
“He told her he loved her,” Peters said. “She told him she would never ever divorce her husband.”
Peters said the evidence will show that the two exchanged hundreds of phone calls and text messages during their relationship.
“That shows the intensity of their relationship,” Peters said.
Peters said that Andrea Sneiderman was questioned by the police on three occasions.
During one of those interviews, Andrea Sneiderman told investigators that Neuman had not done anything to break up her family, Peters said.
“Hemy Neuman shot and killed Russell Sneiderman and on that day the lives of those two families...were shattered,” Peters said. “He has admitted that he planned this for several months.”
The trial is expected to last approximately one month.