Our network

Sneiderman murder charges to be dropped | News

Title (Max 100 Characters)

Sneiderman murder charges to be dropped

DECATUR, Ga. -- Prosecutors are dropping murder charges against Andrea Sneiderman. She's the widow of Rusty Sneiderman, who was shot to death outside a Dunwoody day care in November 2010.

Sources tell 11Alive News that prosecutors are expected to announce the decision during a pretrial hearing before Judge Gregory Adams Friday afternoon.

READ|Full Indictment against Andrea Sneiderman

The hearing was originally scheduled to discuss the admissibility of hearsay evidence in the case against Sneiderman. She is scheduled to face trial on those charges, as well as charges of obstruction and making false statements, next week.

RELATED| Sneiderman trial will focus on perjury
FULL COVERAGE| Track the case from the beginning to the very latest

Sources spoke anonymously because the parties to the case are under a gag order.

An indictment accuses Sneiderman of conspiring with her coworker, Hemy Neuman, to murder her husband. Prosecutors had alleged the two were having an affair. In March 2012, a DeKalb County jury rendered a "guilty but mentally ill" verdict following Neuman's murder trial.

Sneiderman denied that there had been an affair, and has denied any involvement in the murder. 

The murder case against Sneiderman was problematic from the start. Hemy Neuman's attorneys said he would decline to testify under the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Neuman's attorneys say Neuman had never wavered from his contention that he acted alone when he shot Rusty Sneiderman to death. 

However, prosecutors had evidence that Sneiderman had concealed facts from investigators, giving rise to suspicions that she knew about the killing in advance. During Neuman's trial, her father-in-law testified that she told him "Rusty's been shot" prior to anybody notifying her of the shooting.

By dropping the murder charges in advance of the trial, prosecutors would retain the option to try her later if further evidence emerges.

Jury selection in the case begins Monday.

Today's announcement renews the discussion over the differences between a criminal murder trial and a civil wrongful death case. This table explains the main points:

Defendants vs. state
Defendant vs. individuals
Jail time
Monetary damages
"Beyond reasonable doubt"
"Preponderance of evidence"
Jury or Judge

Sneiderman faces the following charges:

Perjury: In a judicial preceding, knowingly and willingly makes a false statement (Ga. law 16-10-70)

Obstruction: A person knowingly and willingly resists, obstructs, or opposes any law enforcement officer. (Ga. law 16-10-24)

Making False Statement: Person knowingly and willingly falsifies, conceals, or covers up a material fact.