If there was ever a real-life case that was made for Law and Order, this would be it. In November 2010, a bearded man in a hoodie fired several shots at Russell Sneiderman on the lawn of a day-care in Dunwoody, an affluent suburb of Atlanta. Sneiderman had just dropped his two-year-old son off at the day-care facility. Mr. Hemy Neuman has been accused of the murder of Sneiderman. If convicted, he could receive a sentence of life without parole. His highly-publicized trial began this week in DeKalb County, Georgia. There have been more wacky and unbelievable twists in the facts of this case, many believe it has the makings to be the next Lifetime movie. As you might have imagined, the case has flooded news outlets Atlanta and even national news outlets.
As a law student here in Atlanta, I am surrounded by the constant coverage of the trial and thought it would be interesting to blog about its progress. Here is some necessary background information: Neuman is a wealthy, high-ranking manager at GE. In early 2010, he hired a woman named Andrea Sneiderman (the victim's wife). It is alleged that the two began an elicit affair. After romancing Andrea on several occasions, it has been said that Neuman believed he and Andrea were going to get married despite the fact that Andrea was married with children. It got to the point where Neuman believed Andrea's children were his children, and that the children were in danger when around their father, Russell.
This is where the facts get interesting: according to the State, Neuman attempted to murder Sneiderman outside of the Sneiderman home but did not succeed for fear of being spotted by Andrea or their neighbors. On the morning of the shooting, Neuman went to work at 5:36 a.m. and snuck out the back door (where there exists a convenient lack of cameras). The State argues this was an attempt to secure an alibi. He drove to the day-care in a silver minivan, fired several shots, and quickly got back into his car and tried to take advantage of the notorious rush hour traffic in Atlanta so as to blend in with the thousands of motorists on the road at that time. All of this, the State argues, is evidence that Neuman planned out the murder in meticulous detail. The State also claims that Neuman was so callous to the situation, he went back to work that day and even attended the funeral services for the victim.
The defense, however, tells a different story. Neuman has plead not guilty by reason of insanity, claiming he did not know the difference between right and wrong at the time of the shooting. To further bolster this claim, the defense's opening statement claimed Neuman believed an angel who looked like Olivia Newton John ordered him to shoot Sneiderman. That's right, Olivia Newton John told him to shoot the victim.
The second day of trial was today, and Andrea was the State's first witness. Once her testimony is finished, I will update with a summary of her testimony. I must admit, along with the rest of Atlanta, I'm captivated by this trial. I will continue to update you on its progress.