And the twists keep coming. Prosecutors have advanced a new theory that Andrea Sneiderman may have manipulated her former boss Hemy Neuman into killing her husband, Russell “Rusty” Sneiderman, so she could be with a third man, an assertion her lawyers flatly deny.
Rusty Sneiderman, a Harvard-educated entrepreneur, was gunned down in November 2010, shortly after dropping off the couple’s 2-year-old son at a preschool in Dunwoody, a suburb north of Atlanta. Neuman, a Georgia Tech graduate and father of three, was arrested about six weeks later.
A jury in March found Neuman guilty but mentally ill.
Andrea Sneiderman was arrested in early August, accused of helping orchestrate her husband’s death and charged with malice murder, criminal attempt to commit murder, racketeering, two counts of perjury and two counts of insurance fraud.
The trial is expected to happen next year. The judge has issued a gag order barring the lawyers from talking to the media.
The case has attracted an enormous amount of public attention, with people around the country tuning in online to watch a live stream of Neuman’s trial earlier this year. During the monthlong trial, the focus was often on Andrea Sneiderman. She was grilled by lawyers on both sides and responded with occasional hostility and emotion to questions from both sets of lawyers.
At a hearing last month, prosecutors added a man named Joseph Dell to their witness list and argued that Andrea Sneiderman should be barred from speaking to him before the trial, a request granted by the judge.
“Evidence is starting to come up that might show that it was not for Mr. Neuman to be with the defendant but for someone else. Mr. Dell might be that someone else,” prosecutor Don Geary said. Prosecutors believe Dell left his wife, who was six months pregnant, and openly began a relationship with Andrea Sneiderman about six and a half months after Rusty Sneiderman was killed, Geary said.
A lawyer for Andrea Sneiderman dismissed this latest theory as “incredible on its face,” saying Dell was a close friend and was providing “invaluable assistance” to Andrea Sneiderman, who has been under house arrest since her release from jail in August.
“Whatever her relationship is with the gentleman, we believe, has absolutely no bearing on any issue in this particular case,” defense attorney Tom Clegg said at the same hearing.
Andrea Sneiderman’s lawyers on Friday filed a motion asking the judge to prohibit the state from making any reference to any relationship between her and Dell. They claim there is no evidence that any relationship started before her husband’s death and Dell’s name isn’t mentioned in the indictment so any relationship that may exist between the two is completely irrelevant to the case.
A court document filed in mid-November in a wrongful death lawsuit filed against Andrea Sneiderman by her husband’s brother also fleshes out the details of the alleged relationship between her and Dell. The filing by Esther Panitch, a lawyer for Steven Sneiderman, says Dell accompanied Andrea Sneiderman to court when she testified at Neuman’s trial in February and was with her at her family’s lake home when she was arrested in August.
While Andrea Sneiderman was in jail for about three weeks in August, she called her parents 55 times and called Dell 58 times, the filing says. The calls were recorded, and Andrea Sneiderman can be heard asking Dell to move in with her parents and children, and Dell is heard calling her parents “Mom and Dad.”
In one call the day Andrea Sneiderman was charged, Dell seems not to know he’s being recorded and “is heard crying and professing his love for Defendant Sneiderman,” the filing says.
“This bold romantic gesture is met by Defendant, who is apparently aware of the recording, with a response eerily similar to her handling of Neuman, ‘I do not know what to say,”‘ the filing says.
The court filing also quotes a blog entry it says was written by Dell in September in response to a media report questioning his relationship with Andrea Sneiderman. Dell reportedly wrote, “I hardly knew Andrea before her husband was murdered but have gotten to know her and her family as an extension of my own.”
Mark Trigg, a lawyer representing Andrea Sneiderman in the civil matter, called the allegations in Panitch’s filing “preposterous.” It is an attempt to embarrass and harass Andrea Sneiderman and Dell and proves that both Panitch and prosecutors don’t have enough evidence to support their original accusations, he wrote in a response to Panitch’s filing. He goes on to accuse prosecutors of trying to manipulate Neuman.
“It seems likely that the assertion at this late date that Andrea had another so-called ‘paramour’ is made in an effort to manipulate Mr. Neuman so that he will fall into a jealous rage, decide to no longer tell the truth in this regard, and finally provide something that so far is completely lacking: any direct evidence that Andrea Sneiderman was a co-conspirator in her husband’s murder,” he wrote.
Neuman’s lawyers said during his trial that Neuman fell so hopelessly in love with Andrea Sneiderman, whom he supervised at General Electric, that he believed he was the father of her two children and that the only way to protect them was to kill her husband. Bob Rubin, one of Neuman’s lawyers, said he doesn’t know whether prosecutors will call Neuman to testify in Andrea Sneiderman’s trial. But he said Neuman hasn’t budged from his claim that she manipulated him but didn’t help him plot her husband’s killing.