Not Guilty Plea Entered in Dunwoody Slaying - KMSP-TV

Not Guilty Plea Entered in Dunwoody Slaying


An Atlanta man pleaded not guilty Monday to charges that he shot and killed a 36-year-old father, who was gunned down minutes after he dropped off his 2-year-old son at a suburban preschool. 

Defense attorney Doug Peters entered the plea on behalf of Hemy Neuman, who didn't speak during the 15-minute hearing at the DeKalb County Courthouse. Neuman is charged with the November killing of Russell Sneiderman outside the Dunwoody Prep preschool, a slaying that shocked the affluent north Atlanta suburb of Dunwoody.

Prosecutors have said little publicly about a possible motive in the case, but some details have emerged. Neuman, 48, supervised Sneiderman's wife, Andrea, in the quality and engineering department of GE Energy in Atlanta, the company said.

Police have not implicated Andrea Sneiderman in the killing, and she has said she was shocked when she learned of Neuman's arrest and that she considered him a "friend of our family."

After the hearing, an attorney representing Neuman's wife Ariela, told reporters her client believes that the suspect and the victim's widow were having an affair. Esther Panitch said she wants to interview both Andrea Sneiderman and Hemy Neuman as part of a civil lawsuit filed on behalf of Neuman's wife, but she has so far been rebuffed.

"We believe there was an extramarital affair between Mr. Neuman and Mrs. Sneiderman," she said, adding that she believes access to the two will prove the allegation.

Sneiderman, a father of two who was a financial consultant before joining a private venture firm, was killed in the parking lot of the preschool minutes after dropping off his son.

The high-profile killing rocked the suburban community, where authorities urged witnesses to come forward with tips and Sneiderman's family offered a reward. Police even set up a system that allowed tipsters to send encrypted text messages, and nervous residents were on the lookout for a silver minivan matching the description of the getaway vehicle.

Neuman, who is from Israel, was arrested three months ago, and refused to answer questions after a January court appearance. He has a home in suburban Cobb County, authorities said, and his Facebook page said he was a graduate of Georgia Tech and a father of three, including two children who study engineering at his alma mater.

Monday's hearing set the stage for more pre-trial legal maneuvering. A judge gave Sneiderman's defense team a 30 day extension to review more than 6,200 pages of documents and dozens of hours of recorded interviews that prosecutors submitted as discovery. Peters said it was "certainly one of the more complicated criminal cases" ever brought in the county.

DeKalb County District Attorney Robert James said the state is ready to proceed with the trial, but he said he understands why the judge granted the defense team more time to pore over the records.

"This is not your average murder case," he said.

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