Hemy Neuman, on trial for the killing of a Dunwoody man in 2010, was delusional at the time of the shooting, his lawyer said during a pretrial hearing on Feb. 16.
But Neuman’s attorneys do not want that delusion to be mentioned in the trial and filed a motion “to prevent the state from interjecting into this trial a defense which we are not raising,” said Doug Peters, one Neuman’s attorneys.
Neuman is on trial for the November 2010 killing outside Dunwoody Prep daycare center of Russell Sneiderman, a 36-year-old entrepreneur who was shot several times after he had dropped off his son.
Neuman, who worked at GE Electric Energy in Marietta, was the supervisor of Andrea Sneiderman, the victim’s wife.
“Delusional compulsion, under Georgia law, is neither factually nor legally relevant in this case,” Peters said.
Peters argued before Superior Court Judge Gregory Adams that, according to state law, “the delusion of the defendant has to justify the act that was committed.
“When we look at the facts in this case, that means there has to be present facts, either in the case or in Mr. Neuman’s delusion, that would have justified Mr. Neuman shooting and killing Rusty Sneiderman,” Peters said.
Peters quoted from Dr. Adriana Flores, one of the two experts who evaluated Neuman, who said that Neuman’s “delusions rendered him incapable of differentiating right from wrong at the time he killed Mr. Sneiderman.”
“As such, it is my opinion, that Mr. Neuman was not criminally responsible for the murder of Russell Sneiderman,” stated Flores as quoted by Peters.
A report by Dr. Tracey Marks, who also evaluated Neuman, stated that Neuman “believed that he was the father of Andrea Sneiderman’s children and that the children were ‘at imminent risk’ of being harmed by Mr. Sneiderman,” Peters said.
Neuman “perceived that he was commanded to take Mr. Sneiderman’s life in order to protect the children,” according to Marks’ statement quoted by Peters.
Don Geary, a chief assistant district attorney for DeKalb County, said the prosecution has no problem with not referring to Neuman’s alleged delusions.
Geary said the prosecution, however, would have been remiss to prepare against the possible defense “since this case… is replete with alleged hallucinations, [and] aberrations that command him to do things.”
The prosecution will argue that “there is absolutely no evidence at all of insanity or delusional compulsion,” Geary said.
Adams instructed attorneys for the prosecution and defense to prepare a joint, proposed order preventing the use of “delusional compulsion” for his consideration.
Jury selection was completed on Feb. 15 and opening arguments are scheduled to begin on Feb. 21.