DUNWOODY | Prosecutors want GA murder suspect's records | News
DECATUR, Ga. -- Prosecutors asked a judge on Wednesday for access to records from a private psychological exam of Hemy Neuman, the accused Dunwoody daycare killer.
According to Neuman's attorneys, he plans to plead not guilty by reason of insanity in the murder of Russell "Rusty" Sneiderman in November 2010.
Defense attorney Bob Rubin confirmed the evaluation was done in May 2011. That is after the shooting but before the announcement in September that Neuman was changing his plea.
Rubin told the judge since it was Neuman's attorneys who hired the doctor to do the evaluation it should be considered off limits because of attorney-client priviledge.
Court records show the private exam was conducted in May 2011 by psychologist Dr. Peter Thomas.
Neuman's defense attorneys insist the results are confidential.
Prosecutors argued that Neuman waived his right to confidentiality with his insanity plea.
Neuman is accused of shooting Sneiderman moments after he dropped off his son at Dunwoody Prep, a private preschool and nursery.
Investigators claim Neuman was having an affair with Sneiderman's wife, Andrea, at the time. The two were co-workers.
Judge Gregory Adams says he will enter into a ruling in the coming days, but other lawyers are already weighing in.
"Conversations with your priest, your lawyer, your psychologist are all confidential, and that's what the defense will argue," said former DeKalb District Attorney J. Tom Morgan.
"If the judge would release those records, we would be going down a slippery slope," he said.
The attorney for Neuman's wife, Ariela, said she is skeptical of his insanity defense.
"I suspect there has been so much overwhelming evidence of his guilt that this might be the only thing that they feel they have," said attorney Esther Panitch.
If a jury eventually finds Neuman not guilty by reason of insanity, he'll be committed to a state mental facility.
The jury could find him guilty but mentally ill. In that case, he would receive mental health treatment in prison.
In an unrelated second motion, the judge is considering quashing a subpoena issued for Esther Panitch. The defense says it wants to call her as a witness becuase it believes she has information about the case.
Panitch's attorney argued that anything she may know would be covered by attorney-client priviledge.