Hemy Neuman is claiming “erotomanic delusions” caused him to gun down fellow Jewish community member Rusty Sneiderman outside the Dunwoody Prep preschool in November 2010.
Neuman’s public defender, Duana Samson, argued in her opening statement of Neuman’s retrial Monday, Aug. 8, that those delusions caused her client to believe there was more than actually existed in his relationship with Sneiderman’s wife, Andrea, who worked for Neuman at GE Energy in East Cobb.
DeKalb County Assistant District Attorney Anna Cross, however, told the jury that Neuman did have a sexual affair with Andrea Sneiderman and killed her husband in coldblooded, carefully planned effort to have her to himself.
Neuman, who does not deny being the gunman, was found guilty but mentally ill of malice murder during a trial before the same DeKalb judge, Gregory Adams, in 2011. He was sentenced to life behind bars without possibility of parole.
The Georgia Supreme Court threw out the conviction last year, finding in a 6-1 decision that Adams erred in letting the prosecution subpoena the notes of two mental health professionals who were hired by the defense to interview Neuman in jail before his trial. Neuman’s attorneys then were forced to call those two as witnesses even though they hurt his insanity defense.
The Supreme Court decided the notes from those interviews should have been protected by attorney-client privilege.
Neuman again is trying an insanity defense that argues he didn’t know right from wrong when he killed Sneiderman, in part because he was responding to delusions of angels and demons, but now he’s mentally healthy enough to go free.
Cross, meanwhile, wants the jury to reject the claims of mental illness and simply find Neuman guilty of murder.
In his first trial, Neuman presented a clean-cut appearance, usually wearing a sweater. He now sports a full gray beard and a large white yarmulke.
Andrea Sneiderman, who was convicted in 2013 of perjuring herself in Neuman’s first trial about the nature of her relationship with him, is not scheduled to testify in this trial.
Black-Jewish Coalition Criticizes Black Lives Platform
The Atlanta Black-Jewish Coalition expressed dismay Monday, Aug. 8, over the political platform announced a week early by the Black Lives Matter-affiliated Movement for Black Lives.
“A Vision for Black Lives” accuses Israel, among other things, of being an apartheid state and of committing genocide against the Palestinians.
“It is both deplorable and deeply saddening that such an important movement that addresses issues of deep concern to the Black and Jewish communities has been hijacked by those who seek to isolate and delegitimize Israel,” the Black-Jewish Coalition said in a statement issued through American Jewish Committee’s Atlanta Chapter. “As supporters of a two-state solution that will bring peace between Israelis and Palestinians, we are troubled by the false parallels that the BDS movement has constructed comparing, inaccurately, the challenges of the Black community and those of the Palestinians. In addition, singling out the actions of Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East and the only democratic ally of the United States in the region, will surely do nothing to resolve the problems that the Black community faces in the United States.
“These wild accusations not only vilify Israel and Jews, but also insult victims of genocide around the world, and demean those who suffered under the South African apartheid regime.”
The coalition expressed support for many of the points in the lengthy platform but said the denunciation of Israel “requires us to distance ourselves from the Movement for Black Lives.”
The Movement for Black Lives has more than 20 member organizations, and the platform has been endorsed by nearly 40 other groups, listed at policy.m4bl.org/about.
Many national mainstream Jewish organizations have criticized the platform, but some of the groups on the progressive, activist wing of the Jewish community have reacted differently.
Bend the Arc, for example, acknowledged the pain expressed by and caused by the Movement for Black Lives platform but said, because it focuses exclusively on domestic issues, it will continue to work with Black Lives Matter and support the platform’s “bold racial justice agenda.”
The Jews of Color Caucus, an affiliate of the pro-BDS Jewish Voice for Peace, issued a statement Friday, Aug. 5, endorsing the platform “in its entirety without reservation.”
“We recognize that the backlash experienced by BLM activists is part of a white supremacist power structure that is trying to maintain the status quo,” the caucus said.
Its statement went on to criticize Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed for rejecting ATLisReady’s demand that city police stop training with Israeli law enforcement. The caucus also singled out the Georgia International Law Enforcement Exchange for attack.