Defense takes over Dunwoody day care murder trial - CBS46 News

Mental experts testify in Dunwoody day care murder trial

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DEKALB COUNTY, GA (CBS46) -

The defense began calling witnesses in the Hemy Neuman trial Wednesday morning after the prosecution rested its case late Tuesday afternoon.

Neuman has admitted killing Rusty Sneiderman outside a Dunwoody day care center in November 2010, but his attorneys will try to convince a jury he is not guilty by reason of insanity.

Medical experts who examined Neuman testified Wednesday that he exhibited "bizarre" behavior.

"We found some paranoia, some social isolation, some depression, and some social alienation," testified Dr. Julie Rand Dorney, a psychiatrist.  "This was a man we felt to be a man with some magical thinking which could be psychotic."

While Neuman is the one on trial, most of the attention has been paid to Sneiderman's wife, Andrea. Neuman was her boss at General Electric and admitted he was attracted to her, though she rejected his advances.

"We didn't know how much was psychotic versus real versus just a fantasy.  A wish that he actually had this relationship," Dorney told the court.

On cross examination, prosecutors pressed Dorney for details on Neuman's mental health.

"That he fantasized over Andrea?" asked prosecutor Don Geary.  "Yes," replied Dorney.

"That he pictured her naked? That he thought she was beautiful? And that, I guess, in connection with the whole mission from God thing thought he was King David and she was Bathsheba?"

"Yes," Dorney answered to the string of questions.

Psychologist Dr. Peter Thomas testified Neuman saw demons in drawings he was asked to interpret.

"The demon was threatening... evil if you will," said Thomas.

Before calling medical experts, the defense called Neuman's sister to the stand Wednesday morning. Monique Metsch testified Neuman had a difficult childhood and told jurors about a time their father beat Hemy "over and over."

"I've been hit.  I've been kicked.  I've been slapped.  I've been whipped," testified Metsch about her upbringing.  "And those things you don't forget."

The prosecution, however, contends Neuman knew the difference between right and wrong and carefully plotted the murder.

Special FBI Agent David Freyman testified Tuesday he scoured Neuman's iPad and found Neuman had searched for words including "gun," and "gun show" in the weeks before the killing. 

Freyman, a computer-technology expert, also said Neuman searched the Internet for information such as, "Can police trace cell phones?"

In the days after the murder, Freyman found evidence Neuman searched for information on suicide, including the number of Percocet pills needed to cause death.

Tuesday morning began with the jury hearing the final portion of a five and a half hour videotaped police interview with Hemy Neuman.

Prosecutors and defense attorneys then questioned Lt. David Barnes of the Dunwoody Police Department.

"Was there anything he did or said in the automobile that made you question his judgment?" asked District Attorney Robert James. "Made you question his mental state?"  

"No," replied Barnes.

The defense team focused on what Andrea Sneiderman failed to tell police about the pair's business travel and relationship.

"Did she tell you that while they were dancing together, and eating dinner together, they were kissing?" asked Neuman's attorney, Robert Rubin, referring to a trip the two made to Greenville, SC.

"She did not," replied Barnes. 

Stay with CBS Atlanta News for continuing coverage of the Neuman trial.

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There was a motions hearing Wednesday morning during the trial, but it didn't concern the defendant. The defense said witness Shayna Citron, a friend of Andrea Sneiderman's, was scared after testifying. More>>

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