DECATUR, Ga. --- A behind-the-scenes shuffle of attorneys is changing some of the key players behind the murder prosecution of Andrea Sneiderman.
When Andrea Sneiderman took the witness stand in the February murder trial of her former boss, Hemy Neuman, the prosecutor asking the questions was chief assistant district attorney Don Geary. With her own murder trial approaching, Geary announced Wednesday he's leaving the employ of DeKalb DA Robert James for a similar job with Cobb County's newly-elected district attorney Vic Reynolds.
"Prosecutors do move around, particularly in the metro areas. And this presumably was just a good opportunity for Don," said former Dougherty County district attorney Ken Hodges, who has no connection to the Sneiderman case. The court has ordered attorneys in the Sneiderman case to refrain from talking with the news media.
Geary's questioning of Mrs. Sneiderman illuminated inconsistencies in Mrs. Sneiderman's story surrounding her actions the day her husband died. Rusty Sneiderman was shot to death outside a Dunwoody day care in November 2010. Defense attorneys claimed Mrs. Sneiderman manipulated her former boss to commit the crime -- a charge she fiercely denies.
Geary was sometimes barely audible in the courtroom as he steadily delivered devastating questions that clearly unnerved Mrs. Sneiderman. He established inconsistencies in her story surrounding how and when she learned about her husband's shooting death.
This summer, Mrs. Sneiderman was charged with her husband's murder as well -- based largely on the inconsistencies raised by Geary's questioning. Geary was poised to play a similarly prominent role in her murder trial as well.
"I don't see this as a setback in the prosecution of the Sneiderman case at all," said Hodges. "The Sneiderman case hasn't been set for trial yet. And whoever tries it with Robert James will have plenty of time to get up to speed on it."
By losing Geary, the DeKalb DA will lose its only prosecutor with experience questioning Andrea Sneiderman. But that may not matter. It's not at all likely that she will testify in her own defense once her trial starts.