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Atlanta Entrepreneur Shot Outside Son's Preschool By Wife's Alleged Secret Lover
After Hemy Neuman was convicted of fatally shooting Rusty Sneiderman, the victim's wife was also charged with the murder.
On November 18, 2010, the affluent community of Dunwoody, Georgia was sent reeling when local family man and entrepreneur Rusty Sneiderman, 36, was gunned down outside his son’s preschool.
It was an “execution style” slaying, Billy Grogan, Chief of Police for Dunwoody Police Department, told The Real Murders of Atlanta, airing Fridays at 9/8c on Oxygen.
Sneiderman was rushed to the hospital, where he later died. As investigators canvassed the scene, several witnesses told the same account.
Right after Sneiderman dropped off his son, a man walked up to him. Without a word, he “began shooting,” said Kelly Boyer, a former detective with Dunwoody PD. “Then he gets in a silver minivan and takes off.”
The Search for Rusty Sneiderman's Disguised Killer
The shooter was wearing a ski hat and had a beard. Witnesses said that he could have “been wearing some type of disguise,” said Grogan.
At the same time, police processed the crime scene. “We collected four shell casings,” said Boyer. Surveillance footage was sent to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
With few clues to go on, detectives took a closer look into Sneiderman’s personal and professional inner circles. They learned that Sneiderman grew up in Cleveland. He and his wife, Andrea, then 35, met at Indiana University before he went to Harvard Business School.
Job opportunities drew them to Atlanta, where they were raising two young children. He had an expertise in business, while she worked at GE. They were involved in philanthropic causes and their synagogue.
“With the victim being Jewish, we thought that it could have been an anti-Semitic attack,” said Curtis Clifton, patrol lieutenant with Dunwoody Police Department.
As law enforcement investigated that angle, a GBI sketch artist’s drawing of the suspect was shared with the media. The sketch led to a number of tips, including one from a woman who spotted an individual closely resembling the man in the sketch. It was a dead end. “He was a military guy … with an alibi,” said Boyer.
Two days into the investigation, Sneiderman’s family offered a $10,000 reward “to help garner some interest and possible leads in the case,” said Grogan.
Detectives circled back to the victim’s widow. They asked her if the couple had financial or marital problems and if anyone would want to hurt her husband. They also inquired if Sneiderman was having an affair.
“He was a model husband. There was nothing like that going on,” said journalist Christian Boone.
Police asked Andrea if she was involved in any romantic relationships outside her marriage. She said that her boss, Hemy Neuman, had “hit on her, but she quickly shut it down,” said Boyer.
As they worked the case, investigators learned that Sneiderman had bad blood with a former employer — a learning center for children that sold franchises. Sneiderman was the chief financial officer but left after discovered iffy inner workings.
Detectives interviewed the company owners, who had solid alibis. “There was motive there, but they were cleared,” said Boyer.
A week after the shooting, detectives were able to view the surveillance footage from the preschool's parking lot. They saw that the getaway vehicle was a silver Kia Sedona. From windshield stickers they determined that it was an Enterprise rental van.
Hemy Neuman, Andrea Sneiderman's Boss, Becomes a Suspect
Law enforcement tracked down the getaway van and processed it for fingerprints and DNA evidence. They collected fibers that appeared to be from a fake beard, said Grogan.
Investigators learned that the van had been rented a day before the murder and returned hours after Sneiderman was shot. The person who rented the van was 48-year-old Hemy Neuman, Andrea Sneiderman’s boss.
Detectives recalled that “Andrea had mentioned that he kind of made a pass at her,” said Grogan.
The investigation focused on Neuman, a corporate scientist who was married with children. He was brought in for questioning and asked to account for his whereabouts at the time of the murder.
Neuman said that he was at work all day. He also said that he was friends with Andrea and that he was attracted to her and wanted to develop that, according to investigators.
“When Neuman said that we started thinking the motive of the murder was love,” said Clifton.
When he was directly asked if he killed Rusty Sneiderman, Neuman didn’t answer. “He did not deny killing Rusty, even when they accused him of it,” said Grogan.
Hemy Neuman Arrested for Rusty Sneiderman's Murder
Although Neuman didn’t confess, his link to the killer’s getaway vehicle gave police enough evidence to arrest him for the murder.
Investigators built their case. Andrea said she had no idea why Neuman would kill her husband, but GE surveillance camera footage revealed that the day of the shooting Neuman left the building and drove away in the silver minivan, according to investigators.
The case was strong, but police still needed to recover the murder weapon. Using phone records to determine who Neuman had been in touch with, police learned that he'd bought a 40-caliber handgun on Oct. 31. The seller was able to give police a shell casing. Ballistics confirmed it was a match with the Sneiderman murder weapon, said Boyer.
“We tried to figure out why in the world Hemy would kill Andrea’s husband,” said Donald Geary, managing asst. D.A. for Gwinnett County. “We knew she took business trips and things just started adding up.”
Detectives tracked down a witness who had seen saw Andrea and Neuman at a restaurant. “She provided us with the statement that there was definitely a sexual tension that she picked up on between the two,” said Boyer.
“There was constant interaction between them on their personal phones,” said Clifton. “This all stopped the day of the homicide.”
“At this point in the investigation, we know that Andrea wasn't totally truthful with us,” said Grogan. Was that because she played a part in the murder or simply embarrassed about the affair? Andrea declined to speak with police.
Hemy Neuman's defense team claims insanity
In February 2012, Neuman’s trial began. His defense team opened with a startling admission that Neuman pulled the trigger because he was insane.
Neuman’s team tried to “prove that he was not in his right mind and that he'd been influenced by Andrea,” said Boone. “He was in love with her and that obsession drove him to kill Rusty.”
Geary’s response? “I just laughed,” he said. “He knew what he was doing. He had an objective. He worked out the mission plan and he executed the mission. Period.”
Neuman never took the stand. But prosecutors called Andrea Sneiderman. “By putting her on the stand as they did, they were able to lock her into her story about what happened and her relationship with Hemy,” said Grogan.
She maintained under oath that she discouraged her boss’ advances. “Did she want her husband killed? I don’t know,” said Boone. “But did she want out of her marriage? It seems that way.”
Hemy Neuman Is Convicted, Andrea Sneiderman Charged
Neuman was ultimately convicted and sentenced to life in prison.
In August 2012, Andrea Sneiderman was charged with murder, lying under oath and hindering an investigation. Shortly before her trial began, prosecutors dropped the murder charge due to a lack of evidence.
In August 2013, Andrea was convicted of perjury for statements she made during Neuman’s trial and for obstructing our investigation, according to Grogan.
To learn more about the case, watch The Real Murders of Atlanta, airing Fridays at 9/8c on Oxygen.