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Daycare verdict: Neuman guilty but mentally ill

NEED TO KNOW
  • NEW: Judge sentences defendant to life without parole
  • Jury finds Hemy Neuman guilty but acknowledges he is 'mentally ill'
  • Victim Rusty Sneiderman was a Harvard-educated businessman
Daycare verdict: Neuman guilty but mentally ill

A Georgia jury on Thursday found Hemy Neuman "guilty but mentally ill" for gunning down his alleged lover’s husband in a parking lot of a preschool in November 2010.

Neuman pursed his lips and closed his eyes briefly as the verdict was read but showed little emotion in the packed courtroom.

INTERACTIVE FACEBOOK TIMELINE: The Andrea Sneiderman Case

He was found guilty but mentally ill on one count of malice murder, and guilty of a second count, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony. The "guilty but mentally ill" verdict means that the defendant will receive mental health treatment.

During the sentencing phase, Neuman solemnly addressed the court, tearfully apologizing for the slaying. "I am so, so, so sorry. I can't say it enough. I can't say enough to all of you, to the precious children, all five of them, to the Sneidermans, my parents ... family, friends, the community at large. I am sorry," he said.

Calling it a “planned execution,” DeKalb County Superior Court Judge Gregory A. Adams sentenced Neuman to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Neuman was a successful engineer, and the victim, Rusty Sneiderman, was a Harvard-educated businessman. Sneiderman was shot multiple times at close range outside Dunwoody Prep daycare moments after dropping off his son. The slaying and subsequent trial drew national interest.

During the trial, the defense did not cross-examine several of the prosecution’s witnesses, because Neuman did not contest the fact that he pulled the trigger.  Neuman pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.

READ MORE: Neuman claims to see angels and demons

The jury did not buy completely Neuman’s insanity defense.

"He's not crazy, he's a co-conspirator," DeKalb County District Attorney Robert James said during his closing argument Tuesday. According to attorneys from both the defense and the prosecution, Neuman was having an affair with Sneiderman's wife. The prosecution believes the two planned Sneiderman's death together.

James said, "Hemy Neuman killed Rusty Sneiderman because he wanted his wife, he wanted his money, and he wanted his life."
The defense, however, argued that Neuman was bipolar and delusional, and that Andrea Sneiderman manipulated him into killing her husband.

"She knew that Rusty had been shot because she had primed the pump, she had planted the seed, and she had stoked the fire. She knew that what she set out to do with somebody who is sick had been accomplished," defense attorney Doug Peters told jurors.

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