Andrea Sneiderman took the stand to beg for leniency for the sake of her children earlier today at her sentencing hearing. She said she and Rusty fell in love at age 18, and after they had married, she began working at GE, which was her first real job. She didn’t know what to expect and at first she thought her boss Hemy was just a nice guy. As time went on, their friendship grew and the line of appropriate conduct grew blurrier. She was flattered by the harmless attention and thought she could handle it. She said she is shamed and apologized for the emails she exchanged with Hemy, but she was still adamant that there was no physical romance between the two. She called Rusty her “true love” and said she made it clear to Hemy that she was never going to leave Rusty. She gave the police names and passwords and did not obstruct the investigation in any way. As for her prior testimony at Hemy’s trial, she said that she hadn’t prepared, and was shocked when the Prosecution focused on her. She said her children desperately need her, and she begged the judge to please let her go home to her kids.
The State asked for a total of 20 years in prison.
Rusty Sneiderman’s brother, Steve Sneiderman, took the stand earlier this morning and made a statement about how Andrea’s lies have impacted his family. He said that because of her lies, his family has had to relive the horror of losing Rusty through two trials.
“She lied to her family, she lied to her friends, and she lied to us.”
Tracey Carisch, Andrea’s friend who has known her for 20 years, was the first witness to made a statement on Andrea’s behalf. Tracey called Andrea “hard-working, dedicated and compassionate,” and asked the Court for leniency. She said that she is an amazing mother, and that her children need her.
“She knows how to be a functioning member of society.”
Andy Lipman, who has known Andrea and Rusty since 2008, also gave a statement on behalf of Andrea. He said that he respects the verdict but knows that they will appeal it. He said his words today in Andrea’s defense are on behalf of Andrea and Rusty’s children, and that after Rusty’s death, Andrea took great care of them. As a result, she needs to be home with them, and should be allowed to serve her sentence from home.
Elizabeth Stansbury, another friend of Andrea’s, said that for the last two years, Andrea and Rusty’s children had been protected from the media and were well taken care of without their father. Elizabeth said Andrea’s incarceration would have “irreconcilable damages” to their children, and that they don’t need to lose another parent.
Andrea Lipman said she respects the system and what happened in the courtroom, but that the system still has a chance to protect Andrea. Lipman said she has known Andrea since 2008 and that they became best friends. She was adamant that this is not what Rusty would want.
Jocelyn Schoreitz, a close friend of Andrea’s, said that the verdict shows that the jury believes that Andrea had no involvement in her husband’s murder. She said Andrea has never been in trouble with the law before and that it was clear Andrea had no knowledge of the murder. She said the claim that Andrea hindered the investigation with her lies is only “speculation.”
Paul Sims, a friend of Rusty’s, got on the stand and said he believes Rusty would want Andrea to be with their children. He doesn’t believe that Andrea going to jail will help their children, and won’t bring Rusty back.
Candace Keilin, another friend of Andrea’s, said she saw the children for the first time in a long time on Thursday night and that they were happy and smiling. She said the children need their mom, especially because they had already lost their dad.
Herbert Greenberg, Andrea’s father, took the stand next and asked that Andrea spend no time in prison. He said Rusty was like a son to him, and that a “delusional murderer took Rusty from us” and that his daughter may have not said “the right thing at the right time to the right people” but that to this day, Andrea is still grieving the loss of her husband. He said the children need their mother and that society would not benefit from the loss of Andrea.
After the impact statements, the Defense attorney approached and made his statement. He said that Andrea should not have to serve any time in prison.
“The criminal justice system has been hell bent on destroying this woman’s life.”
He said he has never seen anything like it before in his life. He brought up how Andrea was initially charged with murder, aggravated assault, and racketeering, and was “vilified in the press.” He called her a “good woman” who is “frightfully intelligent” and said that Andrea is only guilty of lying about her romantic affair, and that Andrea had no involvement in her husband’s murder. He asked for five years probation “from the bottom of his heart and the bottom of his soul.”
After a short recess, the Judge came back and sentenced Andrea to five years on each charge and then said they are to be run concurrently, with about one year already served. In total, Andrea will be in prison for approximately four years. She will be considered a first time offender, however, and she could get out a lot sooner.
I thought the Prosecution brought up a great point in their closing statement today. While Andrea was on the stand, she never once apologized or acknowledged that she had done anything wrong, which, in my opinion, might have been a big part in her getting jail time, as opposed to probation.
Andrea has 30 days to file an appeal, which many witnesses today referenced doing.
UPDATE: 9/23/13 1:51 PM
The battle for Rusty Sneiderman’s $2 million insurance money has continued between Andrea and Rusty’s family. Last week, both sides met in court. The judge un-freezed the money, which had been frozen since Andrea had been initially charged with murder, and then freezed it again for 90 days. The judge urged both sides to come to a settlement agreement, so the money can go to Rusty’s children. You can read more at the link below.