tv Dateline MSNBC March 31, 2018 2:00am-3:00am PDT
it's been, it's been a very difficult four years. >> and you've got such a nice, sunny disposition. how do you do that? >> i get my strength from my mother. that's all for now. i'm lester holt. thanks for joining us. i'm craig melvin. >> i'm natalie morales. >> this is "dateline." >> he had deeper feelings for me than just friends. >> he managed to get me. he had my whole life wrapped up. >> she's at the center of a riveting courtroom drama. the wife whose entrepreneur husband was murdered one cold autumn morning. >> our whole family is lost its brightest light and we don't
know why. >> he's the one accused of the ki crime so why is she under is microscope. >> she's gotten caught and it's really unfortunate. goes against everything i know with andrea. >> was she cheating with her executive boss. >> leave with mef forev forever would that be a normal conversation between you and your boss. >> scheming widow of. >> who kills someone else's husband. there was no affair. hello and welcome to dateline. he was a young entrepreneur who wanted to change the world, but someone wanted him dead. first, no one knew what to make of this case. a jury made it clear, this was a crime of passion. involving a husband and wife and
a boss. here broad daylight. morning in a busy parking lot and then pop pop pop. a man gunned down at close range outside a nursery school in a wealthy suburb. a silver minivan screeched from the lot. startled witnesses saw the victim slumped on the ground. >> right now the condition unknown. >> parents and teachers recognized the man who had been shot as a dad who just dropped off his two-year-old son. a preschool had become a crime scene. >> we are told the children are safe. >> the shooting victim being rushed to the hospital turned out to be 36-year-old rusty snider. married father of two. >> just cried. >> rusty's older brother steve was on a plane to hawaii when he got the shocking news. rusty was dead.
i went to the bathroom and looked at the door. >> he was desperate to get home to his family. desperate to find out what had happened to his little brother. >> my brother was murdered. no one should have to face that. he appeared in a police press conference after the shooting to talk about the loss. >> our whole family has lost its brightest light. and we don't know why. >> that was the question. why rusty. >> did any of it make sense for you. >> no. i mean this was a man that just was so beloved by so many people. >> lived across the hall from rusty in college. >> always had a giant smile on his face to matter the situation. >> in the tiny community with
rusty livid and was raising his family, a man was called. that very supportive community gathered around his wife of ten years, andrea. >> she seemed to be a good fit for him. >> they had been together since college. spoke about her with great affection and respect. >> the couple moved to an affluent suburb of atlanta. rusty accepted a job with a hardware company. >> they had a great house in atlanta. they had a summer house out at the lake. a boat. two great kids. living the dream. >> a dream that was violently shattered that morning in the parking lot. the virtual execution of a young husband and father was in no one's frame of reference. the irrationality of the violence making it all the more terrifying. local attorney. >> it put a lot of fear into a lot of people. into the whole community. >> the fleeting thought was it a hate crime. was the gunman targets jews.
the other line of speculation had to do with rusty's work. he once handled money. major anlt amounts of money. had an investment portfolio gone wrong. >> initial thought it was a professional hit by someone who lost a lot of money. >> and if so, was it someone that they knew well. maybe even a mourner circulating at the memorial service sharing condolences with the widow. old college roommate wondered just that. >> i remember looking around. i remember thifing to myself, a killer could be there. >> what made rusty a vast businessman made it more difficult to detectives to single out one person to have such rage about rusty snider.
he knew a lot of people. >> he was an excellent networker. constantly expanding business and personal growth. >> detectives caught a break. some of the witnesses were able to give the cops a description of the killer and his vehicle. >> it is a possible white male with a beard. about 5'10" in his 30s sgll a able to render this portrait. a face with a dark beard. no mustache. most interesting of all, two piercing eyes. >> witnesses remembered those vividly. who was the man in the sketch. >> the hunt began with one giant clue, the get away car. are police close to catching the killer? coming up, when "dateline" continues.
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the shooter was no more than a police artist rendering. his victim was different. complete picture of 36-year-old rusty sneiderman. loving husband, father and son who had grownup outside of cleveland. mother and father. >> happiest memory. what do you see rusty doing. >> smiling and making you happy and laughing. he was wonderful toll be around. >> he was a good kid. he really was. >> behind a grin and demeanor was a determined and ambitious businessman. spent time in the corporate world now interested in going the steve jobs route. his wife understood. backed rusty to the hilt when he wanted to focus on a startup. >> they were partners in every way, shape and form. whether in life, whether it was through business ventures. i think they were both able to treat each other in a way that made each other better.
>> their marriage seemed solid to people who knew them. for now rusty's grief stricken friends and family wanted answers. answers that seemed to be taking a long time in coming. >> no one had any idea who did this, what happened. >> for weeks after rusty's death, police had been trying to untangle the business relationships. suspicious he had been gunned down by a professional hitman, they were looking for a money trail to liead him to his keele. >> it cost us thousands of investigative hours and time. >> turned out this crime wouldn't be solved by following the money. it would be solved by following the minivan. a vehicle caught on the parking lot security cameras. weeks after rusty had been killed, investigators tracked the van to this rental agency and contacted the man who rented it the day before the shooting.
his identity would blow the investigation wide open. >> the man told him not only yes he was the person who rented the minivan. once more he said he was andrea schneiderman's bass. was he the person in the police artist sketch. didandr's supervisor from work kil her husband. the boss was a man named henny. at ge he was in charge of a multimillion dollar budget, thousands of employees, including his hire in april of 2010, a degrndrea snider. police asked him to come down for an interview. turned into a five and a half hour interrogation. >> shaking turning twisting. he appeared nervous. told the interviewers repeatedly he had been at work the day of the shooting. >> i was not there.
i did not pull the trigger on the gthat shot rusty sneiderman >> don't raise your eyebrows. i'm telling you were there when rusty got shot. >> a few hours into the interview, looked as though he might have something to tell police. >> then he shutdown. even so, detectives thought they had enough evidence linking him to the crime. they arrested him and charged him with murder. then an amazing turn of events. after his steadfast denials, the engineer admitted thad yes, he was the shooter, but he said he was not guilty of the crime because he had been insane when he pulled the trigger. a little more than a year after his arrest, the trial for murder began. and the prosecutor argued that his insanity plea was punot tru
he had just one thing in his sight, rusty's wife. >> he killed rusty sneiderman because he wanted his wife, wanted his money. wanted his li, period. >> and according to the prosecutor, the evidence would show that he knew exactly what he needed to do to accomplish that goal. he tried to plan the perfect murder. just five months after hiring rusty's wife, henny, the prosecutor's said, started researching guns and gun shows on the internet. around halloween of 2010, made his purchase. >> he told me it was for protection. household protection. >> newman bought a 40 caliber handgun for $375 cash. >> the transaction took place in
a parking lot. >> he seemed like he didn't know much about guns, but he was interested in learning. >> within days, newman was at a gun range blasting away for 40 minutes. nine days later put on a disguise and crept into the schneiderman's yard. rusty spotted him and dialed 911. >> i think he has a gun in his back pocket. >> newman had bolted when rusty confronted him. still back on the computer a few days later. this time searching for a local costume store looking for a disguise. then the final count down to verdict michigan. the afternoon, he rented a silver kia minivan. >> he was in a hurry and he was very impatient. >> just after 5:30 in the morning on november 18, security camera recorded the silver
minivan pulling into the parking garage on the campus. the camera then caught newman walking up the stairs. he was headed to his office where he logged into his computer and left his cell phone on the desk. was he trying to create an alibi. next he got back in his car k. he was on the move. a few hours later surveillance video across town picked up his trail driving into the parking lot of a suburban atlanta preschool. rusty sneiderman was scheduled to drop off his son. >> coming up, the widow takes the stand. >> he had deeper feelings for me than just friends. >> andrea schneiderman under scrutiny, when "dateline" continues.
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returning to our story, newman confessed to shooting rusty sneiderman four times in broad daylight, but was he acting a role. here again the dennis murphy. >> day after day in court, marilyn and don sneiderman sat just feet from the man who had slain their son. the one who stolen away their family's peace. >> i saw a man with no reaction to anything. and i thought to myself, how can that man sleep. >> he was just a little man.
little blob. just notng. >> andrea sat two rows ahead. what andrea did and didn't know leading up to the crime would soon become a major focus on the crime, but now as she listened to the prosecutor detail rusty's last moments. she could hardly contain her tears. the prosecutor described the killer walking up to rusty. he didn't hesitate. he walks out. puts the 40 caliber up to rusty's neck. fires one last time. >> this was a brazen outrageous crime. >> it was broad daylight. brazen, reckless abandon. shot perhaps 30 feet from where children were playing. >> husband and wife testified they came running when they heard the sound. >> went up to the victim.
that's when i noticed he was bleeding out. >> i saw him like gasping for air and i wish i would have started cpr right there, but i was in so much shock. >> my name is rusty sneiderman. >> rusty had been best man at josh's wedding. the radiologist found it hard to hear testimony about the medical details of his friends last moment. >> it was the fourth and final shot. the one that went through his neck, through his spine, through his spinal cord and not only paralyzed him. >> he was dead. >> yes. >> that's one of the hardest things for me to see. >> after delivering the kill shot, witnesses testified that newman calmly walked back to his minivan and melted into morning traffic. within hours, he was back at his desk observed juggling routine meetings. what did he expect to happen next? the prosecution had explained how the murder had been plotted out, now they wanted the jury to understand why.
rusty was the last person standing between newman and the woman he loved, andrea sneiderman. >> andrea offered juicy testimony for the jury. she testified the accused had become obsessed with her weeks after she started working with him in 2010. he had stalked her and her family she said and finally gunned down her husband. the courtship began about six months before the shooting. >> how much time would you spend with him on a regular basis. >> there were meetings every other day, constant communications about work and projects. constant phone calls. we spoke about work things. constantly. >> newman quickly became a fissi fixture in her life. >> extremely caring individual. pretending to be caring
individual. >> one night during a business trip to lake tahoe, he stepped over the line. >> did defendant ever express his feelings for you. >> yes. >> outside a restaurant before they had dinner together, he read her a poem. >> the insinuation of the poem to me was that he had deeper feelings for me than just friends. >> she says her boss confided in her that he was unhappy in his marriage and was thinking of moving out from his wife of 22 years. rusty sneiderman's wife said she made her position clear. made myself clear where i stood. >> he got the message, andrea said, at least for a while. when he wasn't being inappropriate, she says, he was a good friend. >> i admit to caring about him. he managed to get me to care about him. that's actually the point. he was very good at that.
very good at manipulating everything around him to feel bad for him. >> with rusty launching a company from the ground up, she felt she had to hold down her steady paycheck. she told the jury she walked the tight rope the best she could. >> given the situation that i was in, and that he was my boss, i handled the role with care and did the best i could to. >> did you ever report. >> no. >> why not. >> i would have been fired. >> i would have been fired. >> andrea had kept the advances to herself for the good of her family, she told the court. now the prosecutor wondered this. the police artist sketch just days after the shooting bore a striking resemblance to her boss.
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has released police body cam footage of the incident. move comes after state and federal authorities declined to press charges. after friday's deadly violence in gaza, u.n. security council met to urge restraint by both palestinians and israelis. 15 people were killed by israeli fire as thousands of protesters marched to the gaza border. now back to "dateline."
welcome back to dateline. i'm craig melvin. rusty's wife took the stand and prosecutors had tough questions for her. >> he pretended to be my friend and i was doing the best i can to deal with that situation. he had my whole life wrapped up. >> jurors heard a harrowing tale of rusty sneiderman's widow. a monster of a boss that became obsessed with his new hire, andrea. >> but i was even more complicated than it seems. and that the wife andrea was holding back important details of her story. >> prosecutor. >> there was this kind of watergate question. what did she know, when did she know it. >> we went it. we knew she was lying. we told her we knew she was
lying. when that didn't seem to affect her. so we knew what we had to do on the stand and we simply did it. >> in court, hemy nueman was the accused. it looks at times andrea was on trial too. looks like she had been a willing partner. not only in the relationship, but in the murder itself. >> think about it. be with me forever. would that be normal communication between you and your boss. >> the victim was aggressively questioned by the prosecution about business trips with her boss that looks like a serious of trysts in hotel rooms with him abroad. a week after the trip to lake tahoe when he wrote her a love poem, he joined her in colorado. >> did you pick the defendant up at the airport. >> yes. >> did you take him back with you. >> yes. >> kids you and the defendant
share a room. >> no. >> >> she denied they spent the night together in colorado, but workers at the hotel remember a change of rooms. >> our records do show that andrea schneiderman during her stay switched from her room two beds and one person to a room with one bed and two people. >> a month later in august, something happened on the trip they took together to south carolina. something andrea felt she had to repent for. she read allowed in court what she wrote him in e-mail. >> what happened. >> we were holding each other's hands and that's it. it may sound worse than it is, but to me that was a betrayal. >> you're repenting in the e-mail at least for holding his
hands. >> yes. >> but the work trips together continued and the emotionally charged e-mails intensified. hemi wrote her words like marry me, i love you, and this. >> we trial and anger is not you felt. how you felt when when we look at the stars in tahoe. when we woke up friday morning in denver when you took my hand and my shoulder. >> did that happen. >> did what happen. >> did you wake up together in denver and tahoe. >> no. >> andrea might not have known it, but during this time, hemny like a teenager was confiding in a real estate agent friend. he would get an e-mail and be excited because it had a smiley face.
in her eyes, andrea wasn't pushing hemi away at all. >> i saw her wanting him and leading him on. going out of town with him. holding hands with him. eventually what i'm told from hemi actually having sex with him. y actually having sex with him. >> on the stand she was adamant it was strictly business. even though itinerary had plans to see a play and a nightclub. >> we did not do anything. >> jurors heard evidence that andrea and hemy did go dancing on their last trip together to greenville south carolina. a month before rusty sneiderman was killed. the bar made testified she saw public displays of affection that would justify the taunt of get a room. >> he kept spinning her around. groping each other. >> did you see the parties kiss. >> yes, i did. >> how many times did they kiss. >> i would say about three times. >> did you see the female push
the male away. >> no. and one occasion, she actually kissed him. >> andrea denied the barmaid's account. >> did you kiss him or did he kiss you. >> no. >> in this case when you're talking about alleged affairs and someone else's husband being murder murdered, i think people tend to think they saw a lot of things. >> andrea denied all the innuendo. sharing rooms, groping on the dance floor. she said she never had sex with hemy newman. a claim she repeated when her best friend confronted her after the funeral. >> did andrea admit or deny the affairs. >> she denied it. >> based on all the te youe n andrea, when she td you no, did you believe her. >> no a my heart wanted to believe her. >> did she make a comment if she wasn't there. >> yes, if she was not married she would have been interested
however she loved her husband and was not interested. >> that statement echoed something hemy had told his friend. >> what did he tell you. >> that he an andrea got closer. he and andrea had decided that they were soul mates. he also told me that andrea was adamant she would not leave her husband and their two kids. >> andrea was interested in hemy, but would never leave her husband. that was the message rusty sneiderman's wife was sending her boss the defense would argue and the defense promised to prove to the jury the interturmoil stirred up in hemy neuman was enough to push the mild mannered and troubled man over the edge and into the realm of legal insanity. >> i've been kicked. i've been slapped. i've been whipped and those things don't count. >> haunting secrets from hemy's
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he admits to the shooting, correct. >> yes. >> but hemy neuman's defense attorney said their client shouldn't go to prison because the 48-year-old engineer outwardly so calm and rational had one more secret to confess. he had been terrormented by dem since he was a boy. >> mr. newman's problems began years ago and went undiagnose throughout the course of lifetime and progressively got worse. >> made a bold accusation that the violent act was triggered by none other than rusty's wife andrea. >> she planted the cede. she stoked the fire.
>> his psych was so fragile the defense argued it hadn't taken much for andrea to send hemy over the edge. if they could prove he was not guilty by reason of insanity and didn't know right from wrong, there was a chance he would escape prison if not a hospital bed in psychiatric unit. first witness was hemy's younger sister, she painted a picture of a painful childhood. >> would you describe for the jury your household at 6:00 in the evening when your father was coming home. >> anxiety. >> monique explained their father, a violent and alcoholic man, had beaten both children savagely. >> i've been kicked, slapped, i've been whipped. and those things you don't forget. >> monique said hemy took the worst of the beetings.
>> my brother got up. went to get a bowl of ice cream. before we knew it, the bowl of ice cream went flying. hemy was getting slapped. and it just kept going and going and going. >> but it was at boarding school where he experienced his first demon. >> he described the demon much bigger than him. when he saw and felt this demon, he felt anguish, deep pain. >> by the time andrea knew him, hemy neuman has a history of break downs. teetering on the edge of having another one according to the defense. it began as a fantasy according to mental health experts. something to help him escape his troubled life. they say workplace infatuation seem became something much more. >> confidant testified it looked
to her like andrea would wind hemy up. >> she treated him like a yo yo. she would have him all the way up at the top just saying this is the greatest and we're soul mates and having a great time out of town. and then coming back in town and texting him and saying we can only have a business relationship. we can no longer do this. >> defense expert doctor said this yo yo effect strengthened the delusions he was having. said in this altered state he was listen to andrea complain about rusty. how the children were shying away from them. >> your communications or conversations saturate discussions, saturated with a degree -- andrea sneiderman's complaints with her husband. >> hemy naught something needed to be done. especially when the demon return. described it in jailhouse
interview. >> hemy said this time the delusion took a surprising form. a demon appeared before him and he sounded like barry white. >> he also says he saw an angel who sounded like olivia newton john. the message was as out there as the vision itself. according to hemy neuman, the angel sassigned him a deadly mission. the children were at risk from a degree ia sneiderman's husband. >> he thought he was doing the right thing. saving the children from the same kind of trauma he had. >> prosecution painted a very
different picture of hemy neuman. >> he's running a number on psychologist. >> he was probably the smartest person in that courtroom. >> the prosecutor told the jury that hemy had lied about hallucinations to try to get away with murder. and the defense experts had fallen for it. >> if he lied to you about that delusion and everything in your report is off the table, could i be wrong. >> that is correct. >> the prosecutor called a parade of witnesses to the stand. hemy's work colleague who is had seen him every day. >> did you ever see anything that made you question his mental stability. >> no, not at all. >> have you ever observed him when he was hallucinating. >> no. >> according to the prosecution's own expert witness, it would have been impossible for hemy to have covered up such a serious mental illness. >> there's going to be some evidence somewhere of a impairment. >> would someone to unstable be
able to plot out the crime and covering of tracks as he did. >> this was just another project for him. he did it. >> got a problem. going to approach this like an engineer. how do i approach the problem. >> he mathematically solved his problem. >> during that jailhouse interview, hemy explained to the prosecution psychiatrist. >> but amid all the expert witness testimony over several days, debating hemy neuman's health, a hypothetical question posed by the prosecution caught the most attention. >> if it becomes this is in fact a plan by andrea and defendant to get rid of rusty so they could be together. >> if i knew they had corroborated together, yes, that would change my opinion.
>> this was the first time in hemy neuman's trial a direct reference was made to a potential plot between the shooter and the victim's widow. what did andrea sneiderman know and when. >> coming up, jurors render their verdict. one question still lingers, is this case closed? when "dateline" continues. protect your pets from fleas and ticks with frontline plus for dogs and frontline plus for cats. its two killer ingredients work fast and keep working all month long preventing new flea infestations on your pet. frontline plus. the number 1 name in flea and tick protection.
but listen to what her father-in-law and friend told them before she got to the hospital. if no one had told her. and perhaps most perplexing of all. within minutes of an how many times did you. >> zero times. >> and a demeanor issue for the witness. the jurors heard a tape of andrea being told six weeks
after her husband husband was st the police had made an arrest. >> are you serious? >> i am. >> did andrea know beforehand who the shooters wasp? according to a friend, andrea confided in her that she thought hemi newman resemestereled the police sketch. if she had any suspicion hemi was involved, why didn't she call police? >> she kept seeing hemi's face in those sketches. is that correct? >> not the face. it was the eyes is what she said. >> and those drawings were published more than two days after rusty was shot. is that correct? >> i -- i guess. >> andrea hugged her best friend as she got off the stand. but once the two women were in the hallway out of the view of the cameras and jurors, andrea reportedly threatened her.
the best friend's lawyer says she overheard the conversation. >> andrea tells her, i understand why you did what you did. >> the judge banned andrea snyderman from the courthouse for the remainder of the trial. but what motive could andrea snyderman possibly have had for any of this? investigators learned she had collected $2 million in life insurance after rusty's the death. but did that really compensate her for rusty's lifetime of earnings? was murder the only way out of a marriage that maybe wasn't as solid as friends thought.? but a close friend says andrea was a victim in that courtroom. >> she's gotten caught in the middle of this crossfire between hemi and the prosecutors. it's unfortunate. >> he originally knew andrea as her college girlfriend and he doesn't believe andrea had anything to do with the murder. >> it goes everything i know about andrea and her morals and
r peonality. >> durg the clongrguments, the focus was on andrea again. had she manipulated the unstable hemi pneumonia i can't know into killing her husband? >> the gun, in this case, was in hemi's hand, but the trigger, i respectfully suggest, was pulled by andrea snyderman. >> if he and andrea -- >> or as the prosecution argued, was newman trying to hide behind a fabricated illness to avoid answering for a murder plot that he concocted with his loafer? >> which is more likely. i see dead people. they're telling me to kill poem. or was it the woman who stood to gain $2 million and he did, too? he's not crazy. he's coconspiriting. >> on the third day of deliberations, the jury announced they had a verdict.
andrea was not in the courtroom to hear it. >> we tell jury find the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt but mentally ill. >> the jury foreperson told "dateline" that the jurors believed hemi was mentally ill, but nonetheless should go to prison. >> we were all very passionate that we were not comfortable with hemi newman thinking that he could actually walk. >> was there a discussion of where is andrea snyderman? why are we not talking about her? >> for us, it was still, this is not about andrea snyderman. if there was an affair, that is between andrea snyderman and hemi pneumonia i canh hemi newman. >> i am oh, so, so sorry. i am sorry from the deepest part of me, your honor. >> and then it was over for the disgraced business executive.
newman was led away after the judge sentenced him to spend the rest of his life in prison. and in a written statement issued after the the verdict, andrea snyderman said she was grateful to the jurors and felt justice had timely been done for rusty. but the prosecution was not finished. in 2012 with, andrea snyderman was charged in the murder of her husband, rusty. those charges were dropped. then in august 2013, snyderman faced new charges and was found guilty of perjury and hindering the apprehension of a killer. sentenced to five years, in 2014, snyderman was released from prison and completed her parole three years later. in 2015, a break for hemi newman, ors was it? the georgia supreme court threw out her original conviction saying the trial court errored in admitting evidence protected by attorney-client privilege. but in a 2016 retrial, a jury
found hemi newman guilty once again and he was sentenced to life without parole plus five years. >> that's all for this edition of "dateline." i'm craig melvin. thank you for watching. i'm craig melvin. >> and i'm natalmorales. >> and this is dateline." >> all of a sudden i realize, what's going on? why are they late? something definitely is wrong. he said your family was in an accident. my whole world just dropped out from underneath me. >> the scene told a story. >> what did you find? >> something i don't want to see again. >> a deadly crash on a dark road. two gone, one barely alive. a
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