Andrea Sneiderman arrested, charged in husband's death

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Andrea Sneiderman on the witness stand during Hemy Neuman's trial earlier this year (photo: WAGA file).

Andrea Sneiderman was arrested Thursday morning at her parents' home in Putnam County.  DeKalb County District Attorney Robert James announced during a news conference that a 19-page Grand Jury indictment against her contains eight counts, including malice murder and criminal attempt to commit murder.  

James said Andrea Sneiderman is also charged violating Georgia's RICO statute, insurance fraud, two counts of perjury, and two counts of making false statements.   James said the arraignment calendar is the next step, and if Sneiderman does not plead guilty to the charges against her, they will proceed with a trial.  

James refused to answer any questions regarding evidence in the case, and he said he wouldn't try the case in the media.  

Investigators from the DeKalb County District Attorney's Office were accompanied by Putnam County deputies when they went to the home on Blue Heron Drive in the Lake Oconee area to make the arrest.  She was taken into custody around 10:45 a.m.

"My staff, my investigators handled the arrest along with the Putnam county investigators. My understanding is the children were not present," said James.

Sneiderman faces several charges stemming from the shooting death of her husband, 36-year-old Rusty Sneiderman, outside a Dunwoody day care.  Hemy Neuman, Andrea Sneiderman's supervisor, was convicted of murdering Rusty Sneiderman earlier this year.

Neuman is now serving a life sentence.  Allegations have been made that Neuman had an affair with Andrea Sneiderman.  She has denied those allegations.

The indictment charges Andrea Sneiderman with racketeering, malice murder, insurance fraud, lying to police and perjury on the stand, even though police say she was not around when Neuman shot Rusty Sneiderman. The two decided to kill Rusty Sneiderman because of Neuman's mounting debt, with a plan to live off Sniederman's life insurance money, the indictment alleges.

"Anyone who aids, encourages, conspires, participates has the same culpability as the individual who is charged. In layman's terms, if you help, you can be charged just like the person who did it," said James.

Prosecutors contend Sneiderman gave Neuman details of Rusty's schedule on several occasions, including the day he was fatally shot in front of his child's Dunwoody daycare center.

"This is not something we woke up this morning or yesterday and last week to make a decision to do…You are really looking at several months of work," said James, who said he will personally prosecute the case.

Andrea Sneiderman arrived at the DeKalb County Jail around noon, and FOX 5's cameras captured her being escorted into jail.  It is not clear at this time when she will make her first appearance in court.

Defense attorney J. Tom Morgan, who represents Andrea Sneiderman, told FOX 5 after the announcement that normally defense attorneys are notified by the D.A.'s office about indictments so that their client can surrender.  He says that did not happen in this case.  

"We categorically deny each and every one of the charges that were filed against Andrea today," Morgan said in a statement. "We are looking forward to a vigorous and complete defense to ensure that Andrea is fully exonerated of these false accusations. We are confident that, when an unbiased jury hears the facts of this case, it will be clear that Andrea is innocent."

Morgan visited with Andrea Sneiderman briefly after she was processed, booked and had her mug shot taken.

"Obviously she is in a state of shock right now.  She was arrested with the children in the home with her. She was not even allowed to say goodbye to her children," said Morgan.

Morgan said he had already filed paperwork seeking bond for Sneiderman. James has said that he is opposed to any bond motions.

The family of Rusty Sneiderman issued a statement late Thursday afternoon saying, "The arrest and indictment of Andrea Sneiderman is another important step in the pursuit of Justice for Rusty. This action, however, brings us no joy. We thank District Attorney Robert James, ADA Don Geary, Investigator Mark Potter and the rest of their team for their relentless pursuit of the truth in this case and we will continue to support their efforts in every way through the trial. We will NEVER stop fighting for Justice for Rusty."