In March, the Georgia Supreme Court unanimously upheld the 2016 murder and illegal firearm possession convictions against Hemy Newman, more than a decade after he shocked the Atlanta Jewish community by fatally shooting Russell “Rusty” Sneiderman on Nov. 10, 2010.
Sneiderman was killed outside a Dunwoody preschool where he was dropping off his child.
As heinous as the actual murder and the scandalous background that surrounded the murder was, the impact on the Atlanta Jewish community continues to reverberate. One prominent Jewish leader at the time told the AJT that “it was a painful episode in the history of the Jewish community. It divided the whole community.”
People took sides as details emerged about Sneiderman’s widow, Andrea, who worked for Neuman at GE Energy.
Both the Sneiderman and Neuman families were active members in the Atlanta Jewish community. The story darkened when Andrea Sneiderman was accused of helping Neuman kill her husband because of an alleged affair between her and the Israeli-born Neuman. She eventually served 10 months of a five-year sentence after being found guilty of perjury and obstructing the apprehension of a killer. But murder charges against her were dropped.
With the Supreme Court’s ruling, some hoped the community could finally heal. Attorney Esther Panitch, who represented Neuman’s ex-wife, Ariela, told the AJT, “It is time for Hemy’s victims to have peace and never have to hear his name again.”
(Both Sneiderman’s widow and Neuman’s ex-wife have since changed their names.)
The March ruling followed a Sept. 2020 hearing, after Neuman’s public defender had claimed that his client deserved a new trial. In his first trial in 2012, Neuman had been found guilty but mentally ill of malice murder. Three years later, Georgia’s Supreme Court reversed that conviction after finding evidence which violated his attorney-client privilege should not have been admitted. In 2016, Neuman was retried and again found guilty.
Neuman was sentenced to life in prison without parole. Now a resident of Augusta State Medical Prison, he is not denying the murder.
According to Panitch, “this is the end of any direct appeals” about trial issues by Neuman.
- Jan Jaben-Eilon
- Year in Review
- Hemy Neuman
- Georgia Supreme Court
- Atlanta Jewish Community
- Russell “Rusty” Sneiderman
- Dunwoody preschool
- jewish community
- Andrea Sneiderman
- GE Energy
- Attorney Esther Panitch
- Ariela Neuman
- public defender
- attorney-client privilege
- Augusta State Medical Prison