DUNWOODY: Daycare murder suspect pleads not guilty | News
DECATUR, Ga. -- Hemy Neuman has pleaded not guilty in the murder of Rusty Sneiderman, a father of two who was shot at close range outside his son's Dunwoody daycare in November.
Neuman's arraignment at the DeKalb County Courthouse in Decatur on Monday morning was considered a formality.
During his arraignment, Neuman never looked around the courtroom. There were no friends or family in attendance. Neuman's wife has not visited or had any contact with him since his arrest. He has communicated with his children but not in person.
Outside the courthouse, Peters told assembled reporters that "He (Neuman) has always been, and he remains, a very committed, loving father. He's always had their interests utmost in his mind."
But Neuman's arrest has put his family in a financial tailspin. The jewish community is helping support the family financially and emotionally.
Panitch said, "lmagine waking up and having the police come to the door and say your spouse is accused of murder when they've never had a history of any criminal activity. It's devastating."
"It's the first official step, and everyone pleads not guilty at the first step," said criminal defense attorney Manny Arora, who's not involved in this case but has been following it. "You have to have to plead not guilty to ask the government for discovery."
Arora said prosecutors could hand over evidence, known as discovery, during the hearing, or they could make arrangements to share it in the coming weeks.
Neuman faces a malice murder charge for Sneiderman's death in November 2010.
Neuman is the former supervisor of Sneiderman's widow Andrea. They worked together at GE.
Court documents filed in early March by prosecutors suggested there was "continuous communication" between Neuman and Andrea Sneiderman both before and after the murder.
An investigator for the DeKalb County District Attorney's office secured a search warrant for cell phone records from AT&T and e-mail records from Yahoo.
"Investigation revealed that there was continuous communication between Andrea Sneiderman and the defendant before and after the homicide," the search warrant affidavit stated.
After Neuman's arrest, Andrea Sneiderman issued a written statement, saying she was "shocked to learn that the man charged with murder was my former boss, a person who we thought was a friend of our family." She has not been charged with anything.
According to the affidavit, the investigator wanted "any digital evidence of communication between Neuman, Andrea Sneiderman, and any accomplices or witnesses, known or unknown to law enforcement, that would indicate planning, collaboration, or premeditation to commit murder, and/or any indication of participation of the murder of the victim."
Lawyers for Hemy Neuman said they had reviewed the affidavit, but had agreed with DeKalb's District Attorney not to discuss details of evidence in the case.
"We're not surprised the police are going to be thorough in their investigation," said Neuman attorney Bob Rubin. "We intend to be thorough in our investigation into the defense of Mr. Neuman."
The court documents filed in March revealed new details about evidence in the case, including surveillance video that showed a silver Kia Sedona leaving the crime scene.
According to the affidavit, Neuman rented a silver Kia Sedona the day before the murder and returned it afterward.
He also "arrived at work early the morning of November 18, 2010 then left the office before the murder," according to the affidavit. It continues: "He later returned to the same office after the murder."
The documents also showed that investigators found "a synthetic hair" inside the rented Kia. It was "the type used for fake beards," according to the affidavit.
Witnesses described the gunman as wearing a fake beard.
The district attorney has gathered 6,000 documents so far. One shows the sale for a Bersa .40 handgun, bought last April. No name is on the document. Another is a sign-in sheet, signed by Hemy Neuman at a Woodstock shooting range on November 1, 2010 - his daughter's birthday, and less than three weeks before Rusty Sneiderman was killed.
Among the 3,000 documents handed over to Neuman's defense attorneys on Tuesday, some video from a Dalton gun show. It does not specify what's on the video.
Also handed over, over 500 emails from Andrea Sneiderman, Rusty's widow -- and some 300 emails from Neuman.
Andrea Sneiderman's resume is also listed as evidence and 11Alive News has learned that Ariela Neuman, Hemy Neuman's wife, actually gave Andrea's resume to her husband, and helped her get her job at GE - where she worked directly for Hemy Neuman.
Ariela Neuman filed for legal separation last month, alleging an affair between her husband and Andrea Sneiderman.
The attorney for Neuman's estranged wife attended Neuman's arraignment. Esther Panitch has re-filed to get the documents in the criminal case for her separation case.
"We believe there was an extramarital affair between Mister Neuman and Ms. Sneiderman." Panitch is asking for access to thousands of documents she says will prove an affair between Rusty's widow Andrea Sneiderman and Hemy Neuman.