Defense attorneys were very active Friday, Dec. 7, filing two sets of motions in the pending DeKalb County criminal trial of Andrea Sneiderman, in which she is charged with murder and conspiring to murder her late husband Rusty Sneiderman, but failing to meet a deadline to ask for a change in venue.
First of all, Sneiderman’s defense team in her murder trials failed to request a change of venue for the widow’s trial, from DeKalb County to elsewhere, prior to the Friday deadline for such a motion. The attorneys are confident they can find an impartial jury in DeKalb County.
Second, court documents filed Friday indicate Andrea Sneiderman’s attorneys want DeKalb Superior Court Judge Gregory A. Adams to throw out the eight-count indictment, which includes the charge of murder and conspiring to murder.
The motions filed ask Judge Adams to schedule a hearing to dismiss all the charges, which also include perjury, making false statements, insurance fraud and racketeering. Sneiderman has maintained her innocence to all charges.
Sneiderman’s attorneys said the murder count “fails to spell out what acts Sneiderman committed to warrant a murder charge. They also said many of the other charges are vague, confusing and ambiguous.
Also on Friday, Sneiderman’s attorneys filed a separate motion asking that Joseph Dell be removed from the witness list. Dell and Sneiderman are now reportedly involved in a relationship. Sneiderman’s attorneys said the pair’s relationship is irrelevant to the murder case.
Prosecutors added Dell to their witness list last month, with Chief Assistant District Attorney Don Geary telling Judge Adams there is evidence that suggests Sneiderman had her husband killed so she could be with Dell.
The defense motion Friday points out that is a sharp departure from the indictment brought against Sneiderman, which accuses her of conspiring with Neuman to fatally shoot her husband.
The motion states: “No evidence exists to support an inference of any romantic relationship between defendant and Joseph Dell prior to the death of Rusty Sneiderman. There is nothing in the discovery to substantiate such a claim. If so, the state also needs to withdraw the existing indictment.”
The attorneys asked Judge Adams to issue an order “prohibiting any reference by the state to Joseph Dell, unless and until the state demonstrates to this court’s satisfaction, outside the presence of the jury, that said evidence….is relevant to the issues in this case.”
Judge Adams has not set a date for hearings on any of the motions filed Friday.
A big question is why the defense attorneys failed to pursue a venue change prior to the Friday deadline, after lead attorney J. Tom Morgan said in August it would be difficult to get 12 jurors in the metro area “that would be able to sit without considering all the things they’ve heard beforehand. You’ve got to be living in a cave to know nothing about this case.”
However, Sneiderman’s defense team still could request a change of venue if they claimed they were unable to find impartial jurors.