At the final pretrial hearing before Andrea Sneiderman’s murder trial was to begin, DA Mr. Robert James says that in the interest of justice, since he is “not sure” if Andrea is guilty, he moved to drop the three most serious charges including malice murder, felony murder and aggravated assault.
Mr. Robert James told the court, “my ethical obligation is not to seek conviction but to seek justice. It would be unjust and unethical to go forward on a charge I’m not 100 percent sure of.”
Andrea’s defense counsel was elated to have the charges dropped. The judge did not immediately grant the motion for dismissal.
“I believe they’ve known all along they didn’t have a murder case,” Ms. Sneiderman’s lawyer said.
Mr. James called that a “cheap shot.”
After a brief recess, the prosecutor stood before the court and responded to the notion, alleged by the defense, that he had behaved in an unethical manner by indicting Ms. Sneiderman. “I have never indicted a case…in which the individual I was indicting was not guilty of [what I believed they were guilty of]… I’ve never tried a case in which I had doubt about a person’s guilt… it seems absurd that there was an implication of being unethical…I am doing what I think is right…”
Ms. Sneiderman is still facing four counts of perjury, seven counts of making false statements and one count of hindering the apprehension of a criminal.
According to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, each charge carries maximum sentences that range from five to ten years in prison.
Ms. Sneiderman’s attorney wondered if she could receive a fair trial, given all of the media attention. He does not see “how on earth [it's possible given] the atmosphere that we all find ourselves in.”
Headline News (HLN) was mentioned directly. He is “dumbstruck” by the media attention.
He asked the judge for a motion to continue the case, given the “media uproar” and suggested she go to trial in six months to a year. He has “never” had to make such a request in his career.
The judge understood Mr. Clegg’s concerns but denied the motion. He might re-consider the motion if they cannot find a fair and impartial jury.
Defense attorney Mr. Clegg then asked the judge to modify the conditions of Ms. Sneiderman’s bond including removing her ankle monitor, allowing her to have contact with potential witnesses, refund $250,000, and sign a $10,000 signature bond.
The state consents to all of the stipulations except Ms. Sneiderman being allowed to have contact with potential witnesses.
The judge eventually allowed the dismissal of the murder charges but will continue to “think about” the matters relating to her bond.