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Will Andrea Sneiderman Walk Free?
Aired July 25, 2013 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST: Breaking news tonight. We now have new information that leaves us asking this question. Could alleged suburban black widow Andrea Sneiderman be popping champagne and celebrating her freedom by this time tomorrow? Is this woman about to get away with murder and not serve any time at all? Or could she be innocent?
Good evening. I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell coming to you live.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The district attorney may be dropping the two murder charges and an aggravated assault charge against Andrea Sneiderman.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Why a week before jury selection do prosecutors suddenly turn around and say, "Oops, never mind"?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If the gunman, the man who pulled the trigger, continues to say she did not do it, the question we as reporters have had the whole time is, how are you going to prove she did when the man who pulled trigger says she didn`t?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Andrea Sneiderman is playing each one of us for a damn fool.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Andrea, accused of having an affair with her boss and convincing him to execute her husband, Rusty Sneiderman, in cold blood, right in front of their son`s day care. Could a backroom deal going on right now as we speak, possibly, mean that she walks free tomorrow?
OK, tonight, we`ve got an exclusive guest, somebody who`s never spoken out before. An eyewitness to Rusty`s murder. And he is talking for the first time about what he saw during those last moments of Rusty Sneiderman`s life. And what he did to try to save Rusty Sneiderman`s life.
OK, Hemy Neuman, right now serving a life sentence for Rusty Sneiderman`s execution-style murder. Prosecutors allege Andrea, his wife, was Neuman`s lover and accomplice. A slew of text and phone calls between the two right around the time of the murder all point to one pivotal question. What did Andrea know, and when did she know it?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANDREA SNEIDERMAN, ACCUSED OF WIFE`S MURDER: They said there had been an accident and Ian was fine, but there had been an accident. I screamed into the phone asking what was going on, and they just said, "You need to come here." So I dropped the phone and ran out of my office.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`ve also got a brand new theory on what might be motivating Andrea. Is she an innocent grieving widow or a killer manipulator? Will she walk tomorrow? Call me: 1-877-JVM-SAYS, 1-877-586- 7297.
Straight out to the Lion`s Den. If there`s a plea deal, could Andrea waltz free tomorrow on probation? Our sources are telling us it could happen.
Heather Hansen, you`re shaking your head.
HEATHER HANSEN, ATTORNEY: Jane, I don`t think so. You know, there`s 13 different charges that are still going to be pressed against her: the perjury charges, the concealment charges. And those charges carry a sentence from 5 to 10 years. If she`s found guilty on even some of those charges, I think she will serve time.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wendy Murphy, we`ve heard from a source that there might be a plea deal going on, a plea bargain, where everything is wrapped up in a neat little bow, and she gets to waltz out on probation.
WENDY MURPHY, FORMER PROSECUTOR: Yes, I wouldn`t be surprised. For so many reasons, including that despite Hemy Neuman and his lawyer essentially promising that he would take the stand and blame her at the end of his trial, that didn`t happen. The prosecution is stuck.
And even if she got convicted after trial, she has no criminal record. Would she really go to prison? Look, the best thing for, I think, the victim`s family is to let her plead guilty. Because who knows what the real back story is? Is she preparing to say ugly things about the victim? Is she going to air the dirty laundry of this family? Putting it all to rest now saves everybody a lot of grief.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jay Apt, you`re the attorney for Andrea Sneiderman`s former best friend, who is no longer her best friend. How do you think your client and the family of the victim, Rusty Sneiderman would feel if, as they have said, unequivocally the family of the victim that they think she has blood on her hands is how they put it, if she were to waltz out of court tomorrow on probation as a free woman?
JAY APT, ATTORNEY FOR SHAYNA CITRON: I think they`re already horrified that the serious charges have been dropped. I would imagine that`s not in the family as horrified and that they`re very upset that she`s basically going to walk.
And you know, as for Shayna, yes, I think there`s a fair amount of trepidation that Andrea is getting away with a serious crime.
I do want to comment on the fact that, you know, she could walk out of court tomorrow. I`ve had a lot of cases in front of Judge Adams, who`s the judge in this case. He`s a very serious judge. He`s a no-nonsense judge. And even if the D.A. and her -- Andrea`s attorney strike a deal -- I don`t think Judge Adams is going to seal any deal where there`s no prison time.
So I think she`s got to do some time if she`s going to plea to some of these perjury counts. And, you know, I don`t -- a lot of people have speculated that she could, in theory, do 110 years, because there`s 13 of these.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, please. Not if they drop the murder charges. That`s not -- that`s not realistic.
APT: Right. That`s right. That`s right.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And maybe probation isn`t realistic either. But, you know, why is she under house arrest? She`s been under house arrest. If they think she really orchestrated his murder, why isn`t she in the slammer like everybody else who doesn`t live in a big house? And I`d like to throw that to Brian Silber.
BRIAN SILBER, ATTORNEY: Well, Jane, you know, it really depends on a lot of factors. And it sounds to me like this case has a very serious evidentiary problem, because why else would prosecutors be dropping charges in the ninth hour and talking about plea bargains?
You don`t file a RICO indictment that alleges malicious murder to give probation. You know, it tells me their case is falling apart. And I think that`s something that they probably even knew way back when.
I would even bet further that her house arrest was done by stipulation between the parties. Because you`re right. Someone who has a serious charge like this doesn`t typically get out on bond.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, that`s because we`ve got a two-tiered system of justice in this country. I guess if you live in a really big house like she does, you get to the stay in the house. But if you come from a place where you live in a really tiny house or a small apartment, you`ve got to go to jail.
Lonnie Coombs, I get so sick of this two-tiered system of justice. Either the prosecution thinks she orchestrated its killing or they don`t. And if they think she did, she should be in the slammer awaiting trial.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I agree.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let Lonnie speak for a second.
LONNIE COOMBS, FORMER PROSECUTOR: Jane, I agree with you. In this case as a former prosecutor it really concerns me that they are trying to drop these murder charges at the very last minute before trial.
I mean, before they even went for the indictment, they said, "Look, we have serious concerns about her involvement. We believe she`s involved. But it`s a matter of whether we can prove it beyond reasonable doubt." Then they went ahead and got an indictment. But that indictment got changed three different times over the last year while it`s been pending trial.
And now at the last minute, they`re trying to drop the murder charges? I actually think the prosecution was trying to save face by getting a plea deal, because I think once the evidence is out there it`s going to show that it is very weak, that it`s open to interpretation. And they`ll be lucky to get a conviction in front of a jury.
SILBER: I don`t know why they just don`t go forward on conspiracy. I mean, if you read that indictment, it`s basically accusing her of conspiring with this guy, you know, to give him the schedule of the husband and all these little details. They shouldn`t be plea bargaining. Let`s face it. If they can either prove their case or not.
And I think the other gentleman from Georgia makes a good point about the judge. This judge will probably either put their feet to the fire or accept the plea to jail, or prison, rather.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right.
SILBER: It`s not going to go either way.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let`s go to the phone lines. Let`s go to the phone lines. Michelle, Canada, your question or thought. Michelle, Canada.
CALLER: Hi there.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, there you are. Question or thought?
CALLER: Sorry, Jane. It`s just a comment. I`m really afraid that this might end up like the Casey Anthony trial, not guilty. Especially when Casey, unfortunately, killed her child, and now this woman now killed her husband. I just don`t want to live in a world with a bunch of killers.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, let me say this, Michelle, Canada. It was worth waiting for your comment. But I have to say that Casey Anthony was acquitted in a court of law, and we have to respect that. And this woman hasn`t been convicted yet, so we can`t call either of them killers. We can say they`re alleged killers and one was acquitted.
Tonight I`ve got to tell you something: There`s a brand-new theory suggesting prosecutors are dropping the murder charges, because -- here`s why -- they failed to get shooter Hemy Neuman to flip and testify against Andrea, his alleged lover.
The prosecution now suggests Andrea, in a diabolical twist, might have had her sights set on a third love interest and was just using Hemy to wipe out her husband so she`d be free to go after guy No. 3. Prosecutors say this male friend told Andrea that he was in love with her while she was in jail. Here`s that other guy in an interview with "48 Hours."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did the police ever ask you about your relationship with her?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The police have never spoken to me.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You say they have never? To this day as we sit here now. To this day the police have never asked you about your relationship with Andrea?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Police have never interviewed me, called me, not spoken to my attorney. Not shown up at my door.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. The defense says the only reason prosecutors dredged up guy No. 3 was to get Hemy, who`s serving life, so jealous that he would turn on Andrea and testify against her and spill the beans about what really happened.
I want to go to John Lewis, reporter, WSB Radio out of Atlanta.
You know more about this case than anybody except the prosecutors. What do you think of this theory?
JOHN LEWIS, REPORTER (via phone): Well, the theory actually holds up very well, because while it`s very hard to feel sorry for a killer, Hemy Neuman really is the tragic figure in all this. I mean, look at this guy. He had a marriage of two decades which it looked like a loveless marriage. He meets somebody who seduces him and makes him feel like he`s worth a million bucks. He does whatever is necessary for her, including killing her husband, and he ends up serving life in prison without a chance of parole while there`s the possibility she may not spend any more time behind bars. He becomes, really, the tragic figure in all of this, a patsy, which is the way he`s been looked at from the start. A pawn being used in this.
But also I just want to say something that Jay Apt brought up earlier and that`s about Judge Adams. Judge Adams is very no nonsense. When he says we`re starting at 9 in the morning, he doesn`t mean 9:01 or 8:59. It`s wheels up at 9 a.m.
I don`t think he`d accept a plea deal with no jail time for somebody who lied in this courtroom or lied on this witness stand. You just don`t do that to Judge Adams. He is a very, very business-like judge. If you say to him, "I`m lying in the courtroom," he would say, "Well, you know what? Spend some time behind bars. That`s the consequence."
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I hear what you`re saying and John Lewis, I like your analysis, except the victim here is Rusty Sneiderman. This guy may be a patsy, but anybody who pulls a trigger is not a victim in my book.
Up next, we`re just getting started on this case. I`m going to talk exclusively to a man who actually witnessed the murder of Rusty Sneiderman. And he was there. He heard the gunshots. He tried to save Rusty`s life. He saw Hemy Neuman in disguise running away. He is my exclusive guest. He`s going to tell us everything that he saw that day right on the other side. Stay right there.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You stated earlier that you got a good look at the person that you walked by.
CRAIG COLMEYER, EYEWITNESS: Yes, sir. I`ll never forget that face.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You`ll never forget that face?
COLMEYER: Yes, sir.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HEMY NEUMAN, CONVICTED OF SHOOTING RUSTY SNEIDERMAN: I find her attractive. And indicated that to her. And I said in the future, you know, I would like to continue to develop a relationship. She basically said no.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: That`s cops grilling Hemy Neuman, the guy who ultimately was found guilty but mentally ill in the execution killing of Rusty Sneiderman, the husband of Andrea Sneiderman, the woman you see right there sauntering out of court.
Now this gruesome execution took place in a very tony Atlanta suburb. Hemy Neuman was Andrea Sneiderman`s boss. They worked together at G.E. Energy. Now that office is about 11 miles from the day care, the Dunwoody Prep Day Care where Rusty Sneiderman was gunned down. Now, the Sneidermans, their house is just about a mile away from that day care center.
Rusty had just dropped his 2-year-old son off at the day care when he was ambushed by a gun-wielding Hemy Neuman in disguise. Joining me now in an exclusive interview is Craig Colmeyer, who witnessed this horrific shooting and tried to save Rusty`s life. In fact, he made this chilling call to 911.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Dekalb County 911. What`s the address of your emergency?
COLMEYER: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) Somebody has been shot and killed out in front of Dunwoody Prep.
We`ve got a doctor over here right now. I just checked his pulse. I don`t feel a pulse.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Craig, thank you so much for joining me. I know this is very difficult for you. You were a bystander, and you find yourself in the center of this very controversial case, and I know you`re speaking for the first time to the media in our exclusive.
Tell us what you saw. It was around 9 in the morning, a November day in 2010. You were near the location. You hear gunshots. Tell us what happened after that?
COLMEYER: First off, thank you for having me. I apologize that I can`t be in studio, but unfortunately, something came up and I couldn`t do that.
I was going up to the post office, basically, and was getting out, and I heard the gunshot. I turned around. As I was walking I saw Hemy very casually walking back to his vehicle, and at first, it seemed very surreal when I`m standing there at 9:07 a.m. and I`m waiting for basically movie cameras to come along and say, "Wait, wait, just replay that again." Because it was just so crazy. The disguise that he had on. From the fake beard, from the sun just with glaring on his gun as he was casually walking back to the minivan.
And I still thought up until the point that he got to the door that this was some sort of movie setup. And then when he got into his vehicle and I saw him struggling to put the car in reverse, that`s when I knew that this was serious. And instead of him putting his foot on the brakes, he tried to throw it right in reverse and take off. I think that`s when the adrenaline might have hit him. And then we came up on Rusty. And that was just an awful morning for many families.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, you saw the killer screech away, is how you described it at one point in a court document that I read. In other words, he`s panicked. He can`t even get the car in gear. But then he finally gets it in gear, and he screeches away. Is that -- is that how you saw it? In other words, somebody fleeing who -- That`s a sign of guilt right there.
Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. As soon as that car got -- he went right around and took right back off. Left the scene just like that.
What did you see in terms of Rusty Sneiderman? Where was he lying? We`re looking at crime scene video right now. There`s the day care. He`s just lying on the ground in the parking lot?
KUHLMEIER: Yes, basically, and as I was trying to call 911 to hurry up and get somebody, you know, after this guy, we started to assist Rusty as best as we could. I just remember, you know, feeling his pulse and my wife saying don`t touch him, it`s a crime scene. I told my wife, I go, "I have to see if he`s alive. What am I supposed to do? It was a very chaotic scene. And all I could just remember is just the blood just pooling.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Was he conscious?
KUHLMEIER: No. He was definitely not conscious. He was gasping for air. You could hear like just the gasping part. And it was very hard.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I could tell -- I can tell that this has haunted you. This has haunted you obviously, to have witnessed this and to have been trying to save this man as he`s bleeding to death. What has it done do you? Have you had dreams about this?
KUHLMEIER: It`s been, you know, up until about a week ago when this started coming around again is when it started to come back to life, obviously. But from the time that this happened it has definitely put a strain on me and my family. Especially the first couple of months when they didn`t know who did it, and they were saying it was a possible hit. It was very hard. It was very hard, you know, walking my dog and carrying a gun, wondering if somebody is watching me at the same time. It`s been difficult to say the least.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: There are reports that Andrea Sneiderman, who cops have said was part of this plan who they believe orchestrated the hit may have all the murder charges dropped against her tomorrow. How do you feel about that?
KUHLMEIER: That`s a good question. You know, I feel that justice will be served. For her to walk away, I just don`t see how that`s fathomable. I couldn`t imagine that even coming to pass. I really can`t.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: But if it does?
KUHLMEIER: Well as of late, the last couple of court cases, you know, I guess I wouldn`t be surprised.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, I think you`re referring to some of the verdicts like somebody just mentioned the Casey Anthony case. But listen, she deserves a presumption of innocence in a court of law. She has not be convicted. I know you have to be very careful about this but ultimately she did arrive on the scene. Is there anything you feel comfortable telling us about her arrival? I mean, even how quickly did she show up?
KUHLMEIER: I cannot comment on that. That`s something that we`re going to be talking about when we take the stand next week. That`s something that I cannot comment on.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Let me ask you this. I understand there were children. This all happened at a day care center. This poor man, Rusty, had just dropped his son, his 2-year-old boy off at day care when he was executed with what? Three shots in the torso and one with a muzzle pressed against his jaw, execution-style. And apparently there were little children were playing just a few feet away. About 30 feet away.
KUHLMEIER: I would probably say it was less than that. Basically, it looked like ten feet and then a wall. For somebody to do that is just unthinkable.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, the idea, if it`s true that she did what she is currently charged with, even though everybody expects these murder charges to be dropped tomorrow. To orchestrate the killing of your husband and then do it at the day care center where he`s dropping his 2-year-old son off. Can you put your mind around that, Craig, at all?
KUHLMEIER: I put my mind on it every day I bring my son to day care. I also have two young children. All I think about is Rusty walked in, dropped his son off, gave his son a kiss. Said, "Son, I love you, and I`ll see you later." Just like we do every day. And he never got that opportunity to see him again. That bothers me the most.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And that that little boy, that 2-year-old heard the gunshots undoubtedly from inside that day care and will forever be haunted by the knowledge that he was inside the day care when his daddy was gunned down. It`s just beyond evil.
KUHLMEIER: There`s no -- there`s no good ending to this story. You know, you have multiple families affected. You have two young children that are going to grow up with all kinds of things going on. And
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, it`s just gut-wrenching. Craig, if you could hold on. We`re going to take a very short break. Thank you for your insights, but we don`t want you to go anywhere. We`ll be back in just a moment.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SNEIDERMAN: I didn`t know what happened to Rusty until I got to the emergency room.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK.
SNEIDERMAN: No one told me what happened to Rusty.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SNEIDERMAN: I pulled up in my vehicle to Rusty`s car. I go Rusty. I fell out of the vehicle. I was picked up by I don`t know who. And taken inside. No one was talking. No one was saying a word. No one would tell me what happened.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: No one would tell her what happened. But prosecutors say she proceeded to call two people, her father-in-law and her former best friend, and tell them Rusty was shot before she knew what happened. How did she know he was shot if nobody would talk to her and tell her? And his body had already been removed to the hospital.
Tonight, our exclusive guest. This is the very first time he is talking about witnessing the execution of Andrea Sneiderman`s husband, Rusty. And it has affected him deeply. We are very honored to have Craig Kuhlmeier with us tonight.
He is a father himself. And he clearly identifies with this poor man who was dropping his -- he`s a doting father who was dropping his 2-year- old son off at day care. Walks outside after saying good-bye to his son and is gunned down by his wife`s alleged lover.
And now we are at the 11th hour, wondering if the wife is going to walk free, or if the murder charges will be taken to trial against her.
So Craig Kuhlmeier, I have to ask you a difficult question. You`ve talked about feeling fearful in the wake of the shooting. Are you fearful? If Andrea Sneiderman for some reason, because there`s a lot of talk that there could be a plea deal, that could involve probation. If she is free, do you have any fears about that?
KUHLMEIER: No. I don`t have any fears about that at all. I do not.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. Why is that?
KUHLMEIER: I mean, whether she -- whether she goes to prison for five, ten years, everybody has been talking. Or 15 or 20. I mean, at some point in time, you know, she`s going to be out. I can`t sit in fear anymore. I`ve done that long enough. And I decided that that`s not going to happen anymore.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: You seem to identify with the victim in the case. This wonderful, doting dad who did everything right, Rusty Sneiderman. A successful guy who gave his wife a beautiful home. They had two beautiful kids. He was successful. He was an entrepreneur. Do you, being a dad yourself, identify with him on some level.
KUHLMEIER: Yes, absolutely. You know, having kids and going to school and being a professional myself and doing the best that we can for our families and to be -- even though she hasn`t been prosecuted -- to be just manipulated and deceived. I couldn`t imagine. I couldn`t imagine.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Has this experience of witnessing Rusty Sneiderman`s execution, not expecting it, being a bystander, living your life and all of a sudden you`re called upon to try to save his life and you couldn`t because he was shot four times. Three times in the torso and once with the muzzle pressed against his jaw.
Has it ripped the facade of life off and then you see the ugliness that can -- that human nature can be? It just changes your life perspective?
KUHLMEIER: It has in some fashion. It`s definitely made me more aware of my surroundings. You know, because as we were pulling up the way that Hemy had the car parked, we drove right by him. And if I was -- you know, we can only think sometimes -- if I was paying attention a little bit more to my surroundings, maybe I would have seen him, you know, in the car, and then I would have watched him a whole lot more closely because like I said, that disguise that he had was just so out there that if he walked by a person the way he was looking, you would have never taken your eyes off of him because you knew something bad was about to happen or he had some bad thoughts going there his mind.
So if anything this definitely made me more aware of my surroundings. You appreciate life a whole lot more, unfortunately, when someone loses theirs.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well Craig, I want you to know you are a hero in this story. You should never feel bad about not being a psychic. Nobody could have predicted these horrific actions. And the fact is if you were not able to safe Rusty Sneiderman`s life, the most important thing is that you tried. And bless you for that.
That is a wonderful thing. And that should give you some closure. It`s so good to talk to you and I feel for you. You know, when you get sideswiped into these horrific violent events it does alter you. And it`s one reason why we have to aim for nonviolence in our world. Thank you so much.
On the other side of the break we`re going to debate the facts of this case and also get some response from our experts on what Craig Kuhlmeier has to say.
Stay right there. We`ll be back in a moment. And we`re taking your calls.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANDREA SNEIDERMAN, ON TRIAL FOR HUSBAND`S MURDER: Who would think that this would be happening right now? Whose boss kills someone else`s husband?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The gun in this case was in Hemy`s hand. But the trigger, I respectfully suggest was pulled by Andrea Sneiderman. Sophia and Ian`s daddy`s blood is on the hands of Andrea Sneiderman.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Straight out to "The Lion`s Den". You can see how this case has truly shattered so many lives.
Wendy Murphy, former prosecutor, what is going to happen if this woman gets a slap on the wrist?
WENDY MURPHY, FORMER PROSECUTOR: Well, you know, unfortunately I think it`s going to be perceived as a grave injustice. Look, I think there`s plenty of evidence to proceed against her for conspiracy. She was indicted.
I know people say you can indict a ham sandwich. Actually, you can`t. And I`ve had cases as a prosecutor where I got a "no bill" back on a close call. The grand jury is actually there for the purpose of making sure the evidence is sufficient. A grand jury indicted.
My feeling is go ahead, you know, get your guts on, try the case, lose. Who cares if you lose? Justice isn`t always about winning. It`s about putting on the whole case, doing your best and seeing what happens.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, but Heather Hansen -- hold on.
BRIAN SILBER, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I disagree with that.
HEATHER HANSEN, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Jane, Jane, Jane --
SILBER: Whoa, whoa, whoa.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Go ahead. Go ahead.
HANSEN: The problem is that there is a gag order on this case. So we don`t know if there`s been new evidence presented. I`m hearing through some of the Twitter feeds that I see that there`s a smoking gun on the defense side that`s going to come out tomorrow to prove that Andrea was not culpable in this murder.
So you have to remember that. The other thing --
MURPHY: Oh please.
HANSEN: Jane -- you don`t know. There`s a gag order. You don`t know.
JAY ABT, ATTORNEY: I talked to the district attorney`s office --
MURPHY: I know the evidence proves that --
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. All right. Listen -- it all boils down to this. What is the evidence that prosecutors have that Andrea allegedly orchestrated her husband`s murder?
Now here`s what cops say they have on her. Hemy shot Rusty just after 9:00 a.m. on November 10th, 2010. In the next two hours, Andrea allegedly calls and/or texts Hemy about half a dozen times and Hemy calls Andrea. His calls to her lasts 42 seconds. So there`s a lot of communication between the shooter and the victim`s wife at this crucial time right around the shooting.
But she fails to call her husband even once, and she was questioned about that on the stand. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: From leaving work to being at the day care, I think you said you presumed or they indicated that something had happened to Rusty.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How many times did you call Rusty?
SNEIDERMAN: Call Rusty?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Rusty.
SNEIDERMAN: Zero times.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why didn`t you call?
SNEIDERMAN: Because they just told me something had happened to Rusty. What are the chances that he is going to be answering his cell phone?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: So here`s the key, Andrea tells her former best friend, Shayna Citron, that Rusty had been shot before Andrea was told by anybody that he had been shot. How did she know her husband had been gunned down?
Shayna actually says this bizarre hug in court following her testimony was an attempt to intimidate her. So back out to "The Lion`s Den" -- listen Jay Abt, you represent her former BFF. You just heard the evidence. Is that enough to convict? Because let me tell you something, she says that I have a lot of reasons for calling my boss if something happened to my husband.
ABT: Wendy is 100 percent right. There was sufficient evidence that a grand jury indicted her. And she`s right. If you`re a DA, you try the case. Sometimes you win. Sometimes you lose. But Robert James is playing to the media.
And I have another theory as to why he is -- I have a theory as to why he`s dropping the most serious charges.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Nobody knows the name of the prosecutor or the D.A. Go ahead, continue on.
ABT: Well, it`s Robert James.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, ok. Now we know. But ok.
ABT: He`s drop -- I think he`s dropping the charges because he has another very high profile serious case that he has to try before September 1st against the CEO of Dekalb County, that individual Burrell Ellis. And if he doesn`t try that case before August, Burrell Ellis gets his job back. He has to be reinstated.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh boy. This sounds like some kind of John Grisham novel. Loni Coombs, jump in here.
LONI COOMBS, FORMER PROSECUTOR: I`m sorry. No prosecutor in their right mind is going to let a murderer walk free because they need to try this other case. I just don`t believe --
ABT: That`s exactly what he just did though.
COOMBS: No. I don`t see that as true.
SILBER: The politics of law is a very real thing and we should not ignore that.
ABT: That`s right.
SILBER: I don`t know this particular prosecutor --
MURPHY: That`s not the excuse here, come on.
SILBER: -- and I have no comment on that, but the politics of law is very real. You know, for instance in the Zimmerman case --
MURPHY: Jane listen, this is not relevant here.
SILBER: -- why was Angela Corey chosen for this very particular case in the Zimmerman case?
MURPHY: All right. That was political.
SILBER: Was it because she was up for re-election maybe? Come on.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well let me ask you this question guys?
SILBER: These are realities that we --
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Could it be that this prosecutor saw the Zimmerman case and saw the blowback after he was found not guilty and said, oops, that`s on national television.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Mine is going to be on national television. I don`t want to have the similar experience.
ABT: The evidence hasn`t changed. So why drop the charges the week before?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Who agrees with me? I only want to talk with somebody who agrees with me.
MURPHY: Don`t pick me.
SILBER: Listen Jane --
HANSEN: Jane, you know, I do, I do.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: She does. Ok.
HANSEN: I do agree with you. I think that there is certainly -- listen, I think that there is certainly something to be said for the fact that the amount of blowback that the prosecution got in the Zimmerman case for not being able to make their case and their inability to make this case.
You listen to Craig`s story and it is a gripping story. But it has no direct evidence against Andrea. Not one thing that he said had any direct evidence against her.
MURPHY: The prosecution has evidence. Look, can I just say one -- there`s one thing I think is very suspicious about this case. There`s reportedly text messages that quote/unquote, "could not be recovered". That`s a lie. All text messages can be recovered. All things that are communicated electronically can be recovered. If there`s a text message, they communicated about it some place --
SILBER: Not if they had been wiped.
ABT: That`s absolutely incorrect.
SILBER: That`s not true. Verizon and AT&T, both said they could not.
ABT: How many defendants get prosecuted for wiping electronic evidence?
MURPHY: That`s a lie.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: -- on this show, what will happen to Andrea Sneiderman? Join us tomorrow night 7:00 p.m. Eastern. We will have the answer.
On the other side of the break, crisis for Amanda Bynes.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AMANDA BYNES, ACTRESS: I`m very lucky. I have a great family. And I just have my eye on the prize which for me is a long career. And I just, I don`t want to blow what I`ve worked so hard to, you know, to achieve.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You heard about this. She`s been forced to go into a psych hospital for mental evaluation.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The parents of Amanda Bynes now plan to ask a judge to place her in a conservatorship, just like the one Britney Spears is under.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What happened to this Amanda?
BYNES: What`s wrong with me? I don`t know. It`s shocking how it`s become popular to go to rehab, right?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Breaking news: the clock ticking for struggled starlet Amanda Bynes, the former child star on lockdown as we speak tonight after being taken to the hospital to undergo an involuntary mental evaluation. But that psychiatric hold could expire tonight. She could walk free hypothetically tonight.
Now reports claim Amanda`s parents are racing against the clock. They filed court papers to try to gain temporary conservatorship over their troubled daughter. They visited Amanda at the hospital yesterday, and allegedly even have a court hearing set for tomorrow. We`ll keep you apprised.
This, after some very erratic, erratic behavior -- look at this. This 27-year-old posted this disturbing video on her Twitter page. This is very sad and very scary. And my heart goes out to her and her parents.
And then there was this bizarre incident earlier this week when she allegedly set fire at an elderly stranger`s driveway in the valley of Los Angeles. Listen to the 911 call.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ok. What`s on fire?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s like a small piece of cloth and a gasoline tank, which is why I`m calling 911.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ok. And where is it? Is it in the roadway?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, it`s in a driveway.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Witnesses claim she also drenched her little dog, pictured here, in gasoline while setting the blaze. We`re happy to report the adorable little dog is just fine tonight. But what about Amanda? Is she going to be fine?
Straight out to Alexis Tereszcuk, entertainment editor, RadarOnline -- I understand you have new information just in. What`s the latest?
ALEXIS TERESZCUK, ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR, RADARONLINE: Well, the latest is that Amanda`s parents have gone to a judge. In fact they`re going to have emergency hearing tomorrow on Friday in Ventura County.
The thing is they don`t usually hear conservatorship hearings on Fridays, they only do them on Tuesdays. But the judge made a special allowance because the situation with Amanda is so dire, and her parents, as I said, they are terrified for her. They`re worried that she`s going to die and they need to get her help immediately. The conservatorship is the only way they feel that they can get control of her here in California.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. And I understand you have some other new information that is just in about a guy that we were familiar with in relation to the Britney Spears case?
TERESZCUK: I do. And this is so scary, I think. It appears that Sam Lufti is now involved with Amanda Bynes. He, in fact, is the one who purchased her plane ticket that she flew from New York to California with. You`ll remember him from the Britney days when she was crazy. I was actually in the restaurant that night when you see that picture of Britney and Sam.
Her parents, Britney Spears` parents actually had a legal wrangling with him. They fought with him. He was ordered to stay away from Britney. He sued them. He is involved in every aspect of Britney`s downfall. And it`s really scary that he`s trying to get involved with Amanda now that she is having so many problems.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I mean so many of their behaviors -- yes. And this is not necessarily in relation to him. But the irony is, so many of their behaviors, like the head shaving and involuntary hold are very, very similar, Cooper Lawrence, psychologist, author of "The Cult of Celebrity".
COOPER LAWRENCE, PSYCHOLOGIST: Yes, very similar. The thing -- it`s very different. I don`t want to make the similarities between Britney and Amanda Bynes in a psychological way.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now. Yes. Let`s talk about Amanda.
LAWRENCE: Ok, go ahead, what`s your question?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: What is ailing this young woman?
LAWRENCE: Well, allegedly we`re hearing schizophrenia. And it wouldn`t surprise me, because some of her behavior does coincide with some of the symptoms of schizophrenia. Plus, she is at the prime age. Schizophrenia in women tend to manifest itself in the late 20s to early 30s. She is 27. That`s a sweet spot. Her parents reached out to RadarOnline to say that she has had delusions, she has had paranoia before. So clearly there has been some history of schizophrenia in her past.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I hope they get the conservatorship they seek tomorrow.
We`re just getting started. More on the other side.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She needs help, clearly. She`ll probably be in for a few days, then she`ll be released, then she`ll have more problems. Then she`ll be back in. I mean God forbid she harms somebody or harms herself.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Clinical psychologist Seth Meyers, some say she is suffering schizophrenia. Others point to her DUI charge and she allegedly threw a bong out a window.
SETH MEYERS, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: Yes. I absolutely do not believe that this is schizophrenia. I will eat my words if that ends up being the case. Schizophrenia is a very serious disorder that basically means you can`t function in almost any area of your life. Now, trust me. If she were to get a good job offer, trust me, she would turn this behavior around quickly. This is, I believe, a mix of severe substance abuse with attention-seeking behavior.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, but Cooper Lawrence, she says that she doesn`t drink or do drugs. Although we`ve had the DUI charge and the bong out the window.
Frankly, we have to leave it right there for now. But I have to say this. I`ve seen people who have really hurt their brains and their psyches by using even sometimes a small amount.
More on the other side.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: What will happen with Andrea Sneiderman and Amanda Bynes? Join us here tomorrow at 7:00 p.m. Eastern, you`ll find out.