Last week, the jury reached a verdict in the highly-publicized daycare shooting trial of Hemy Neuman. If you have been following the blog posts, you know that Neuman was accused of shooting Rusty Sneiderman on the lawn of a daycare in Dunwoody back in November 2010. He plead not guilty by reason of insanity, arguing that an angel who looked like Olivia Newton John told him he needed to kill Rusty Sneiderman. Neuman was intimately involved with Rusty Sneiderman's wife, Andrea although she expressly denied having an affair several times while under oath.
The jury deliberated over two days. They were presented with three options: not guilty by reason of insanity, guilty but mentally ill, or guilty. The jury found him guilty but mentally ill for the murder charge, and guilty for the possession of a weapon during the commission of a felony charge. The judge sentenced him to life without parole. The Judge was faced with the option of a life sentence with the possibility of parole after 30 years, however the Judge said he believed the killing was a "planned execution with no justification." With the guilty but mentally ill verdict, Neuman will receive treatment for his illness while in prison. The distinction between a not guilty by reason of insanity and a guilty but mentally ill verdict is that in the case of the former, the jury believes that the defendant did not know the difference between right and wrong during the commission of a crime. A guilty but mentally ill verdict indicates that the jury believes beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant knew the difference between right and wrong and knew the consequences of his actions, yet remains a mentally ill individual. Obviously, it is possible to be considered mentally ill, but still possess the intent to commit a crime. Apparently, that is what the jury believed here.
Once he was sentenced, DeKalb County District Attorney Robert James said, "He was a cold-blooded killer. An adulterer. And a liar. And he ultimately got what he deserved."
What will be interesting to see is what prosecutors decide to do about Andrea Sneiderman. She quickly became an interesting topic because of her adamant denial of the alleged affair with Neuman. In an earlier post
, I described some key discrepancies in her testimony, the most important being her testimony of when she first learned of the shooting. Andrea testified that she first learned of the shooting when she arrived at the hospital and the doctors informed her of her husband's condition. However, two separate witnesses testified that Andrea called them while in route to the hospital and told both of the witnesses that her husband had been shot. Also, it wasn't until after she began to receive payments off of her husband's life insurance policy that she saw fit to express to the police a suspicion that Neuman could have been the shooter.
The question now is: will prosecutors bring charges against Andrea? She would likely be charged with conspiracy. With the evidence that has arisen against her, it is highly likely that charges will be brought soon. I'll keep you updated. But for now, the dramatic trial of Hemy Neuman has ended, and he will be spending the rest of his life in prison.