Testimony is over in the trial of accused killer Hemy Neuman and now it is up to jurors to decide whether he was insane at the time of the crime.
Neuman is on trial for the November 2010 killing outside Dunwoody Prep daycare center of Russell Sneiderman, a 36-year-old entrepreneur who was shot four times after he had dropped off his son. Neuman has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.
In his closing arguments, DeKalb County District Attorney Robert James told the jury that Neuman has “lied to everybody about everything.”
“He created lies,” James said. “He’s the father of lies. Is there any truth that he’s told?”
James said the psychiatrists that determined Neuman was insane “either lack sincerity …or they’re dense.”
“If you have a problem with what he’s telling you…if you have a problem with the ingredients in the sandwich and if you don’t trust the cook—Lord knows he’s a liar—then you don’t have to eat the sandwich,” James said.
James countered defense attorneys’ claims that Neuman’s alleged insanity, depression and bipolar disorder were the results of being beaten by his father as a child.
“If he had been smacked with a belt more maybe he wouldn’t have killed a man,” James said.
Defense attorney Doug Peters said the “case is about one bad, one really bad woman: Andrea Sneiderman.”
Neuman, who worked at GE Energy in Marietta, was the supervisor of Andrea Sneiderman, the victim’s wife. Throughout the trial, the alleged affair between Neuman and Andrea Sneiderman has been a central theme of both the prosecution and defense teams.
“The gun was in Hemy’s hand, but the trigger was pulled by Andrea Sneiderman,” Peters said.
Peters told jurors that if they believed that “Andrea Sneiderman did not know what she was doing, did not manipulate Hemy, did not suggest to Hemy, did not plant seeds in Hemy, I suggest you’re not taking a reasonable look at this case.
“Hemy Neuman did not have the capacity to distinguish between right and wrong,” Peters said.
The testimony portion of the trial ended March 12 after jurors heard from rebuttal witnesses, during which William Brickhouse, the head psychiatrist at the DeKalb County jail, said he never witnessed any suicidal tendencies from Neuman.
“Though the defendant may tell you he has depression, though the defendant may tell you he is considering suicide, did you see any evidence that that really existed?” asked Don Geary, chief assistant district attorney.
“No, I did not,” Brickhouse said.
On March 9, Brickhouse said “there was never any documented evidence of any delusions.
“There was never any documented mental health requests,” Brickhouse said. “[Neuman’s] behavior was exemplary.
“In my gut I didn’t really believe that he was suicidal,” Brickhouse said.
Under cross-examination by Peters, Brickhouse admitted he found razor blades in Neuman’s possession and that Neuman told him that he was planning to use them to commit suicide.
“Did it concern you that he was collecting razor blades?” Peters asked.
During the trial, James asked Eric Gebhardt, Neuman’s former boss, whether Neuman ever exhibited “mood swings in one direction or the other.”
“Did Mr. Neuman ever, at any time in the six years that you’ve known him, give you a reason to question his mental state?” James asked. “Did Mr. Neuman…ever seem that he was having a problem keeping his grip on reality?”
Gebhardt answered “no” to each question.
Jury deliberation was expected to begin on March 14.