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Sneiderman granted $500,000 bond
by Bobby Tedder
btedder@neighbornewspapers.com
August 21, 2012 08:30 PM | 1842 views | 0 0 comments | 23 23 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Andrea Sneiderman, charged in connection with the 2010 slaying of her husband, was granted a $500,000 bond in DeKalb County Superior Court earlier today.

Judge Gregory A. Adams set the bond — after a three-hour hearing — while imposing several conditions for the accused.

Sneiderman will wear an electronic ankle monitor as part of court-ordered 24/7 house arrest at her parents’ North Fulton home. In addition to surrendering her and her children’s passports, Sneiderman is also barred from any contact with potential witnesses in her upcoming trial.

Criminal defense attorney Jay Abt, a participant in the proceedings, called Adams’ ruling fair.

“I would never try to second-guess a sitting Superior Court judge … I think the bond [set] is a reasonable bond,” Abt said.

He was part of a parade of witnesses to take the stand — nearly all of them at the behest of the defense — during a hearing that began at 1:30 p.m.

Sneiderman’s attorneys questioned those who testified on all or part of the four criteria judges use in determining bond: whether the defendant is a flight risk, if he/she poses a threat to intimidate any witnesses, the likelihood of him/her interfering with criminal justice proceedings and the chance that the individual would commit any other felonies if released.

Prosecutors said Sneiderman had already violated one of those guidelines when she allegedly attempted to intimidate Shayna Citron — a friend and Abt’s client — during Neuman’s trial.

Abt testified Tuesday that he witnessed the incident outside the courtroom after Citron’s testimony.

“At the time, in the moment, Shayna felt threatened and I perceived it as a threat,” Abt said. “I think [Sneiderman’s] comments, at best, were highly inappropriate and I characterize them as threats.”

Sneiderman’s friend Joanne Powers offered conflicting testimony of the same incident, saying she saw no sign of aggression or threatening behavior on Sneiderman’s part at the time. Prosecutors contend Powers only caught the last few moments of the alleged confrontation whereas Abt saw it unfold in its entirety.

In his closing statements, Assistant DeKalb County District Attorney Don Geary painted Sneiderman as a flight risk.

“She just saw her co-defendant [sentenced] … she knows what’s coming,” Geary said. “The second phase is starting … the ante is upped; she has at least the incentive to run at this time.

Friends testified that Sneiderman recently mulled going on a trip to Italy, but declined when it was suggested that it was not a good idea.

Tom Clegg, a member of Sneiderman’s defense team, maintained that his client is not going anywhere.

“[Sneiderman] is anxious to have her day in court,” Clegg said. “We just want this woman out of jail to help her parents mount a defense against these charges.

“If this is what the state has got — the testimony of [Abt] — to argue otherwise, the state hasn’t even come close to doing so.”

Relatives representing both Sneiderman and her slain husband were on hand for Tuesday’s proceedings.

Rusty Sneiderman’s brother Stephen, speaking through the district attorney’s office, asked on behalf of his family that bond be denied.

On the other side, Andrea Sneiderman’s father, Herbert Greenberg, was the first witness to take the stand.

Greenberg choked up at times as he only offered words of praise for his daughter, calling her a “model child” and stating that she has the “largest circle of friends of anyone her age I know.”

Prosecutors allege that Sneiderman conspired with her former boss, Hemy Neuman to kill her husband, Rusty.

Rusty Sneiderman was gunned down by Neuman outside the Dunwoody Prep day care after having dropped off he and Ms. Sneiderman’s young son on the morning of Nov. 18, 2010. Neuman, whom authorities contend was having an extramarital affair with Andrea Sneiderman at the time, was found guilty but mentally ill earlier this year.

Sneiderman has been in police custody since being arrested Aug. 2 on charges of malice murder, attempted murder, racketeering, insurance fraud, two counts of perjury and two counts of making false statements.

Adams scheduled her arraignment for Oct. 8 at 9 a.m.
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