Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Third (and Final?) Indictment v. Andrea Sneiderman

This is a link to the third indictment against Andrea Sneiderman. This is the indictment and charges that will be used at trial.

Please note, upon the States's motion, and prior to swearing in a jury, the Court dismissed Counts 1, 2, and 3 related to allegations Andrea Sneiderman was complicit in the murder of her husband, Rusty Sneiderman, on November 18, 2010.

While this appears to be the "final" indictment for Andrea Sneiderman, the DA has the option to re-indict her for the murder charges as there is no statute of limitation for murder in the State of Georgia.

Click HERE for the Third Indictment of Andrea Sneiderman

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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

What Does the DA have to Prove to Convict Andrea Sneiderman?

The Criminal Statues in the State v. Andrea Sneiderman

The DA has the burden to prove each accused crime beyond a reasonable doubt. But, what exactly does that mean? What does the DA have to prove?

The answer is below. In short, here is the text of the actual crimes the State alleges Andrea Sneiderman committed. I have italicized certain provisions worthy of careful attention.

Hindering Apprehension or Punishment of a Criminal

O.C.G.A. § 16-10-50 provides:

(a) A person commits the offense of hindering the apprehension or punishment of a criminal when, with intention to hinder the apprehension or punishment of a person whom he knows or has reasonable grounds to believe has committed a felony or to be an escaped inmate or prisoner, he:
(1) Harbors or conceals such person; or
(2) Conceals or destroys evidence of the crime.
(b) A person convicted of the offense of hindering apprehension or punishment of a criminal shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than five years.
O.C.G.A. § 16-10-70 provides:

(a) A person to whom a lawful oath or affirmation has been administered commits the offense of perjury when, in a judicial proceeding, he knowingly and willfully makes a false statement material to the issue or point in question.
(b) A person convicted of the offense of perjury shall be punished by a fine of not more than $1,000.00 or by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than ten years, or both. A person convicted of the offense of perjury that was a cause of another's being imprisoned shall be sentenced to a term not to exceed the sentence provided for the crime for which the other person was convicted. A person convicted of the offense of perjury that was a cause of another's being punished by death shall be punished by life imprisonment.

False Statements and Concealment of Facts
O.C.G.A. § 16-10-20 provides:
A person who knowingly and willfully falsifies, conceals, or covers up by any trick, scheme, or device a material fact; makes a false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation; or makes or uses any false writing or document, knowing the same to contain any false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or entry, in any matter within the jurisdiction of any department or agency of state government or of the government of any county, city, or other political subdivision of this state shall, upon conviction thereof, be punished by a fine of not more than $1,000.00 or by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than five years, or both.

Final Notes
            The section heading “final notes” is misleading, because this really is not the final word on what the DA must prove. Georgia’s courts have interpreted these statutes and developed certain language that must (and also that must not) be used when instructing the jury to consider during their deliberations. This post does not attempt to unravel those particulars. However, rest assured, the DA, Defense and Judge will work hard to ensure that the jury charges are proper.

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A List of the State's Evidence v. Andrea Sneiderman

Here is a list of the evidence the DA made available to the Defense.

9000+ pages of documents
91 CDs
Sneiderman Computer
Dunwoody Prep School Security Camera

The DA estimated it would require 4TB of storage to produce electronically.



More information here:

Gearing up for Trial --- without Murder Charges

I have not commented on the DA dropping murder charges, and I'll reserve that for a later date. I will, however, endeavor to post the statutes and elements that the DA must prove beyond a reasonable doubt in order to secure a conviction. Look for that post within 24 hours. 

When you understand exactly what the DA has to accomplish to get a conviction, then you will hopefully more fully appreciate the trial. 

Also, the Dunwoody Murder Trial Discussion Group has enjoyed an impressive and lively discussion the past few days. Of note, several members have put aside any preconceived notions of guilt, and adorned their defense attorney hats in an attempt to rebut some of the evidence regarding the remaining charges. Overall, the result is impressive. If anything, it shows that creating reasonable doubt about some of the most difficult evidence to defend may not be as difficult as some might think. Please join the group if you are not yet a member and join in or enjoy the discussion. 

So far, group members have rebutted eye witness testimony that Andrea and Hemy were dancing, groping and kissing. They have also rebutted the "shared accommodations" during the various business trips Andrea and Hemy took. 

Keep an eye out for my next post soon... 

Follow me on Twitter: @SpeakerDave

Monday, July 15, 2013

#DMTDC Name Upgraded to "Dunwoody Murder Trial Discussion Club"

Having considered numerous inquiries, and after considerable discussion and debate, the "Dunwoody Murder Trial Drinking Club" shall henceforth be known as the "Dunwoody Murder Trial Discussion Club."

We are still located on Facebook at: Dunwoody Murder Trial Discussion Club.

The #DMTDC is a group of diverse individuals all sharing an interest and passion for the Andrea Sneiderman murder trial. We welcome intelligent and spirited debate about this case. Group meetings typically take place at a Dunwoody restaurant/bar and are extremely informal. Please join us online, and in-person in the Atlanta area.  Check the group for meeting times and location. 

About Me:  I practice law with Winter Capriola Zenner, LLC in Buckhead.  I grew up in Dunwoody and live in the Atlanta area. I regularly tweet and welcomes your comments and questions about this case or any other matter you would enjoy discussing.

For inquiries or more information: 
(404) 844-5700

What to Know if You Plan to Attend the Andrea Sneiderman Murder Trial

I have traded emails with several people who want to attend Andrea Sneiderman's murder trial. Here is what you need to know. 

The trial is set to start July 29, 2013 with jury selection. Jury selection should not take more than a few days, but could be shorter or longer depending on the bias level in the jury pool, among other factors. 

The trial location is the Superior Court of DeKalb County, Georgia, which is located in downtown Decatur, GA.  Decatur is a small city just east of Atlanta. Learn About Decatur Here

Judge Gregory Adams will preside over the trial. Judge Adams presided over the Hemy Neuman trial. If you don't know who Hemy Neuman is, then you are late to this party. Email me, and I'll tell you. Judge Adams' courtroom is relatively small, as are most courtrooms. I encourage you to arrive at the Courthouse early. I'm estimating that the courtroom can hold 100 people, maximum. Please don't hold me to this. And, remember, there will be "reserved" seating for non-witness family members as well as space for cameras set up for the live broadcast/streams.

It does not yet look like this case is attracting the large crowds one might expect, so don't get discouraged about the small courtroom. Just go. If you cannot get in, you will certainly enjoy your time in Atlanta. They may also have a live feed set up in an overflow room at the Courthouse. Alternately, I expect that you will find live television coverage as well as dozens of websites streaming the trial.

If you are travelling in from out of town and need a place to stay, there are hotels in Decatur, as well as in nearby Downtown Atlanta, Midtown Atlanta, and the Emory University area. Remember, Atlanta traffic during "rush hour" can be a terrible experience. So, I encourage you to stay as close to Decatur as you can, or build in extra time for the commute. If you want my opinion on staying in a particular area, just email me. I've lived in the Atlanta area 35 of the past 40 years. 

The Judge and attorneys have estimated a 4 to 5 week trial. Remember, Judge Adams has several cases on his docket, and he will not be able to preside over this trial all day, 5 days a week. So, don't be surprised if you attend a day that gets cut short so that the Judge can address another matter. Just try again the next day. 

There are several members of the Dunwoody Murder Trial Discussion Club (Join the #DMTDC on Facebook) who have expressed an interest in attending the trial together. Please reach out to other members on the group page to meet others who share your interest and passion for this case. 

Remember, you will have to pass a security screen at the Courthouse. So, leave your weapons in the car or at home. It may be very cold inside, but July in Atlanta should be hot. So, dress comfortable, and wear layers. 

If you have any other specific question about attending the trial, feel free to contact me here o at the email/twitter below. 

About Me:  I practice law with Winter Capriola Zenner, LLC in Buckhead.  I grew up in Dunwoody and live in the Atlanta area. I regularly tweet and welcomes your comments and questions about this case or any other matter you would enjoy discussing.

For inquiries or more information: 
(404) 844-5700

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

How will the Defense explain the evidence about when Andrea Sneiderman knew Rusty had been shot and killed?

While a substantial amount of evidence emerged from the Hemy Neuman trial tending to implicate Andrea Sneiderman in the murder of her husband, Rusty Sneiderman, one of the most frequently cited "smoking guns" is the conflicting testimony regarding when Andrea knew Rusty had been shot.

The testimony regarding when Andrea knew Rusty was shot may not be as damning as you think.  Let me summarize the testimony as I recall it from watching clips of the trial:
  1. Andrea first testifies that she first learned that Rusty had been shot and killed from a doctor at the hospital approximately 2 hours after Rusty had been shot. She says she didn't learn what happened to Rusty until she got to the DeKalb Medical Center. "Nobody told me what happened to Rusty."
  2. Shayna Citron testifies that Andrea called her around 10:30 am and told her that Rusty had been shot, and that she did not know whether he was alive or dead, and that she was on her way to the hospital.
  3. Don Sneiderman testifies that he received a call from Andrea at about 9:30 am.  Andrea said she was on the way to the day care and that Rusty had been shot.
  4. Alan Schactely testifies that he received a text from Andrea to contact Andrea.  Alan called Andrea some time before 11 am, and that Andrea said that Rusty had been shot.  Andrea said to tell Neuman she was leaving, and Schactely presumed she meant leaving work.
Now, let me provide a plausible explanation as to how this evidence does not show that Andrea knew Hemy Neuman was going to shoot and kill Rusty.

Andrea's testimony is NOT that she FIRST learned Rusty had been shot at the hospital.  Her testimony is that she learned he was shot AND had died.  It is the "and died" part that is important.  As I will explain below, Andrea could easily have learned and/or figured out Rusty had been shot before she ever got to the day care.  In short - nobody told Andrea what happened to Rusty, that he had died, until she got to the hospital. And, therein lies the rub.

Go watch Andrea's testimony here:

The longer version is this:

Citron and the co-worker, Alan Schlactley, testified that Andrea's contact came after Andrea was at the day care and before she got to the hospital.  Andrea could have heard on the radio and seen/heard evidence of a shooting at the day care.  Andrea testified that a doctor at the hospital told her Rusty had been shot and had died.  Do not infer from that testimony that was when she FIRST learned Rusty had been shot - that testimony is only good to show that was when Andrea FIRST learned that Rusty had DIED.  She could have already learned he had been shot because she could have heard the news on the radio, and she was at the crime scene at the day care - I'm assuming that anyone at that crime scene could have observed that there had been a shooting or overheard someone talking about a shooting.

Only Don Sneiderman testified that Andrea said Rusty had been shot BEFORE Andrea got to the day care.  Andrea still could have learned Rusty was shot before getting to the day care. The number one way was by radio broadcasts. I recall hearing about the shooting on the radio before I got to work that morning, and Andrea could have also heard the same "breaking news."

So - what do you think? Do you think the Defense will spin it this way? Its pretty difficult evidence to overcome, and the Defense has to get a jury through this evidence and on their side. What would you do if you had to explain Andrea's testimony in a way that is plausible and shows that she had no involvement in her husband's murder?

Please, poke holes in my theories.

I welcome comments here or on twitter: @SpeakerDave

Also, please join the Dunwoody Murder Trial Discussion Club (#DMTDC) on facebook.

Andrea Sneiderman Murder Trial To Start July 29, 2013

The big day is almost here, and those seeking "justice for Rusty" will undoubtedly be locked onto what promises to be a dramatic trial.

While there are several grounds for appeal already, look for other avenues for the Defense to appeal in the event the Jury convicts Andrea of any count.

Look for me on twitter @SpeakerDave for live updates and analysis/commentary during the trial. I've tried to remain unbiased during the pre-trial media frenzy, but I expect to form an opinion on guilt or innocence as the evidence unfolds during the trial. Nevertheless, I intend to analyze the evidence with as keen an eye as any attorney with his own case. I will also try to present the "devil's advocate" position and challenge you to avoid rushing to judgment before all the evidence is in.

Are you ready?

Please join us on the Dunwoody Murder Trial Discussion Club (#DMTDC) facebook group for moderated, sensible, intelligent, discussion and analysis.