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UPDATE: Wis. couple in prayer-death case seek freedom

UPDATED Wednesday, December 18, 2013 --- 9:55 a.m.

WAUSAU, Wis. (AP) -- The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear the case of a Wisconsin couple who prayed instead of seeking help as their 11-year-old daughter died from a treatable form of diabetes.

A Daily Herald Media report says Dale and Leilani Neumann of Weston were appealing their convictions. Now they're due in Marathon County court next month where a judge will decide whether they'll begin serving their court-ordered sentence.

Separate juries convicted them of second-degree reckless homicide in 2009. A judge ordered them to serve one month in jail every year for six years, but the sentences were postponed pending an appeal.

Dale Neumann's defense attorney, Steven L. Miller, says he'll ask the judge to toss the sentence, while prosecutor Lance Leonhard says they should begin serving their sentences immediately.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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UPDATED Wednesday, July 3, 2013 --- 7:37 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The Wisconsin Supreme Court says a mother and father who prayed for their dying daughter instead of taking her to a doctor were properly convicted of homicide.

The state's highest court issued the ruling Wednesday.

Eleven-year-old Madeline Kara Neumann died in 2008 in her parents' Weston home from undiagnosed diabetes. Separate juries convicted her parents, Dale and Leilani Neumann, of second-degree reckless homicide.

The couple's attorneys noted that state law protects parents from being charged with child abuse if they choose prayer healing for an ailing child instead of medical assistance. They argued that it's difficult to know where that protection ends.

State attorneys said that immunity ends when a child is nearing death. They said the couple had a duty to seek medical help.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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UPDATED Wednesday, July 3, 2013 ---7:33 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Wis. court upholds convictions of parents who prayed for dying girl instead of going to doctor.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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UPDATED Wednesday, July 3, 2013 --- 7:32 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The Wisconsin Supreme Court is expected to rule on whether a Weston couple that prayed while their daughter died in front of them was properly convicted of homicide.

Eleven-year-old Madeline Kara Neumann died at her parents' home of treatable diabetes in 2008. Her parents, Dale and Leilani Neumann, chose to pray for God's help rather than take her to a doctor. They were convicted of second-degree reckless homicide.

The couple's attorneys argue state law protects people who choose prayer healing for their children from child abuse charges and it's unclear when a situation has become so serious they expose themselves to other criminal charges. State attorneys counter the Neumanns knew their daughter was dying and should have gotten medical help.

The court is expected to release its ruling Wednesday morning.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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UPDATED Wednesday, March 17, 2010 --- 4:35 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- State lawmakers are considering a bill that would allow prosecutors to charge parents who refuse medical help for their children on religious grounds with child abuse.

Under current Wisconsin law, parents can't be found guilty of child abuse if they choose spiritual treatment rather than medicine or surgery.

The measure stems from the case of Dale and Leilani Neumann, a Weston couple who prayed while their 11-year-old daughter died of undiagnosed diabetes in their home.

The bill's author, Rep. Terese Berceau, a Madison Democrat, tells the Assembly Children and Families Committee children shouldn't have to die for their parents' beliefs. Joe Farkas, legislative liaison for Christian Science churches in Wisconsin, counters the bill is vague and raises questions about whether parents can teach their children religious values.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Tuesday, October 6, 2009 --- 5:21 p.m.

WAUSAU, Wis. (AP) -- A judge has sentenced a Wisconsin couple to 10 years probation and 30 days a year in jail for the next six years for praying instead of seeking medical care for their dying 11-year-old daughter, but the jail term was stayed pending appeals.

Marathon County Circuit Judge Vincent Howard sentenced Dale and Leilani Neumann on Tuesday. The Neumanns were convicted at separate trials of second-degree reckless homicide in Madeline Neumann's March 2008 death from undiagnosed diabetes and could have received up to 25 years in prison.

Prosecutors contended the parents should have rushed the girl to a hospital because she couldn't walk, talk, eat or drink. Madeline died on the floor of the family's rural home as people surrounded her and prayed. Someone called 911 when she stopped breathing.

The Neumanns say they believe all healing comes from God. Their attorneys have said the convictions will be appealed.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Tuesday, October 6, 2009 --- 4:34 p.m.

From our news partner WSAW:

Dale and Leilani Neumann will serve 10 years probation. As a condition, they will each serve 30 days in jail every year for the next 6 years.

The parents were convicted of reckless homicide for praying while their 11-year-old daughter lay dying on the living room. She died from undiagnosed diabetes.

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UPDATED Tuesday, October 6, 2009 --- 11:01 p.m.

WAUSAU, Wis. (AP) -- The parents convicted of reckless homicide for praying while their 11-year-old daughter lay dying on the living room floor find out Tuesday whether they go to prison.

Dale and Leilani Neumann face up to 25 years in prison after separate juries convicted each of second-degree reckless homicide in Madeline Neumann's Easter 2008 death from undiagnosed diabetes.

The juries ruled the parents had a legal duty to rush the girl to a doctor after she could no longer walk, talk, eat or drink. A family friend finally called 911 after the girl stopped breathing.

The parents, who have three other teen-age children, say they believe all healing comes from God. Their attorneys have said the convictions will be appealed.

Among the factors Judge Vincent Howard must consider in sentencing the parents are deterrence and protection of the public.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.

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UPDATED Friday, September 25, 2009 --- 7:55 a.m.

WAUSAU, Wis. (AP) -- The central Wisconsin parents convicted of reckless homicide for praying for their dying daughter to heal instead of rushing her to a doctor have another legal matter to face.

U.S. Bank filed a lawsuit in Marathon County Circuit Court foreclosing on one of the two homes Dale and Leilani Neumann own. The foreclosure says the couple defaulted on a $250,000 loan and owe $259,000.

The parents were convicted of second-degree reckless homicide in separate trials in the March 2008 death of their 11-year-old daughter from undiagnosed diabetes. They each face up to 25 years in prison when sentenced Oct. 6.

Before their trials, the parents told the judge they were having financial problems and expected a foreclosure on one of their two homes in rural Wausau.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Thursday, August 13, 2009 --- 10:05 a.m.

WAUSAU, Wis. (AP) -- One of the jurors who convicted a central Wisconsin father of reckless homicide for praying instead of taking his gravely ill daughter to the doctor says four jurors initially wanted to find him innocent.

Nancy O'Brien of Marshfield says contentious deliberations in the trial of Dale Neumann left one juror in tears and others raising their voices as they argued in trying to reach a verdict.

Neumann was convicted of second-degree reckless homicide on Aug. 1 for the March 2008 death of his 11-year-old daughter from undiagnosed diabetes. The 12-person jury deliberated 15 hours.

O'Brien says four jurors wanted to find him innocent after the first day of deliberations but they changed their minds after they closely read the law and removed some of the emotion from the decision.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Monday, August 10, 2009 --- 10:05 p.m.

WAUSAU, Wis. (AP) -- It cost Marathon County taxpayers at least $84,000 to try the central Wisconsin parents convicted of reckless homicide for praying instead of taking their dying daughter to a hospital.

Clerk of Courts Diane Sennholz says the tab includes expenses for the parents' court-appointed attorneys and jury costs for food, lodging and travel. It does not include the salaries of prosecutors.

Dale and Leilani Neumann were convicted of second-degree reckless homicide for the March 2008 death of their 11-year-old daughter from undiagnosed diabetes. They are to be sentenced Oct. 6.

Assistant District Attorney LaMont Jacobson says prosecutors decided to try the parents separately because they felt the wife's testimony was necessary in the case against the husband.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Saturday, August 5, 2009 --- 10:26 p.m.

WAUSAU, Wis. (AP) -- The central Wisconsin parents convicted of reckless homicide for praying instead of taking their dying daughter to a hospital have permission to leave Wisconsin before they are sentenced.

Dale and Leilani Neumann were convicted of second-degree reckless homicide in separate trials in the March 2008 death of their 11-year-old daughter. They each face up to 25 years in prison when sentenced Oct. 6.

Marathon County Circuit Judge Vincent Howard changed conditions of their bail on Wednesday to allow them to make a monthlong visit to see family members in California, including Leilani Neumann's ailing grandmother.

Defense attorney Jay Kronenwetter says family members are helping pay for the trip.

The Neumanns are free on a $20,000 signature bond.

Information from: Wausau Daily Herald, http://www.wausaudailyherald.com

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Saturday, August 1, 2009 --- 10:09 p.m.

WAUSAU, Wis. (AP) -- A central Wisconsin man accused of killing his 11-year-old daughter by praying instead of seeking medical care has been found guilty of second-degree reckless homicide.

Dale Neumann's his daughter, Madeline, died in 2008 from undiagnosed diabetes.

Prosecutors contended the 47-year-old should have rushed the girl to a hospital because she couldn't walk, talk, eat or drink. Instead, Madeline died on the floor of the family's rural Weston home as people surrounded her and prayed. Someone called 911 when she stopped breathing.

Defense attorney Jay Kronenwetter says the verdict would be appealed.

Neumann's wife, Leilani, was convicted on the same charge in the spring. Marathon County Circuit Judge Vincent Howard set October sixth for sentencing for both parents.

They face up to 25 years in prison.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Saturday, August 1, 2009 --- 3:12 a.m.

WAUSAU, Wis. (AP) -- A central Wisconsin jury is to continue deliberating after telling a judge it was deadlocked in the case of a father charged with reckless homicide for praying instead of taking his dying 11-year-old daughter to a doctor.

The six-man, six-woman jury deliberated for nine hours Friday. Marathon County Circuit Judge Vincent Howard has ordered them to return to the courthouse Saturday.

They've been sequestered at a Wausau hotel.

Prosecutors contend 47-year-old Dale Neumann had a legal duty to take his daughter to a hospital because her health had deteriorated to the point she couldn't walk, talk or eat.

Neumann testified for four hours during his trial, telling the jury that the Bible told him he couldn't seek medical help without disobeying God.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Friday, July 31, 2009 --- 7:55 a.m.

WAUSAU, Wis. (AP) -- A central Wisconsin jury is to begin deliberations Friday in the case of a father charged with reckless homicide for praying instead of taking his dying daughter to a doctor.

Dale Neumann was the final witness in his second-degree reckless homicide trial Thursday, telling Marathon County jurors that he couldn't seek medical help for the 11-year-old girl who had undiagnosed diabetes without disobeying God.

Attorneys are to make closing arguments Friday.

Prosecutors contend the 47-year-old father of three other children had a legal duty to take the girl to the hospital because her health had deteriorated to the point she couldn't walk, talk or eat.

Neumann testified he believed praying for the girl was needed because all healing comes from God and he never expected her to die.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Thursday, July 30, 2009 --- 7:35 a.m.

WAUSAU, Wis. (AP) -- The central Wisconsin father charged with reckless homicide for praying instead of taking his dying daughter to a doctor wants to tell jurors his version of the event.

Dale Neumann is expected to testify in his own defense Thursday, a day after prosecutors played an hour-long videotape of him telling police that he believed God would heal the girl and he never considered taking her to a doctor.

Neumann has told Marathon County Circuit Judge Vincent Howard that he understands his constitutional right not to testify -- but that he wants to.

The 47-year-old Neumann is charged with second-degree reckless homicide in his 11-year-old daughter's Easter 2008 death from undiagnosed diabetes.

The trial is in its fourth day Thursday. Howard says he expects closing arguments and jury deliberations on Friday.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Wednesday, July 29, 2009 --- 10:55 a.m.

WAUSAU, Wis. (AP) -- The father accused of reckless homicide for praying instead of rushing his gravely ill daughter to a doctor says he and his wife never considered seeking medical care for the girl even though she lost consciousness.

In a videotaped interview with police, jurors heard Dale Neumann explain that he put all his trust in God to heal the 11-year-old girl and that her illness was a test of their faith.

Prosecutors say Madeline was too weak to speak, eat, drink or walk and that Neumann had a legal duty to take her to a doctor.

In the tape interview hours after Madeline died, Neumann said her death did not shake his faith and he would not say whether he would do anything differently if any of his other three children became seriously ill.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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UPDATED Wednesday, July 29, 2009 --- 7:45 a.m.

WAUSAU, Wis. (AP) -- Investigators' videotaped interview of Dale Neumann might be played at his trial Wednesday on a reckless homicide charge in his daughter's death.

Neumann is accused of praying to God to heal his 11-year-old daughter Madeline instead of getting medical help for her as her health deteriorated on Easter in 2008.

Prosecutors say Madeline was too weak to speak, eat, drink or walk and that Neumann had a legal duty to take her to a doctor.

The 47-year-old Neumann was interviewed by police just hours after the girl died. Marathon County Assistant District Attorney LaMont Jacobson said the state could finish its case Wednesday.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Tuesday, July 28, 2009 --- 7:50 a.m.

WAUSAU, Wis. (AP) -- The wife of a central Wisconsin man charged with reckless homicide for praying instead of rushing his gravely ill daughter to the doctor is expected to testify in his trial.

Prosecutors on Monday granted Leilani Neumann immunity for her testimony, which is expected Tuesday, the second day of Dale Neumann's trial.

The 47-year-old husband is charged with second-degree reckless homicide in his 11-year-old daughter's Easter 2008 death from undiagnosed diabetes.

The mother was convicted of the same charge in May and awaits sentencing Oct. 6. Her attorney has said the conviction will be appealed.

The immunity means anything she says at her husband's trial cannot be used against her should she be prosecuted again.

Leilani Neumann did not take the witness stand in her trial.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Sunday, July 26, 2009 --- 11:25 a.m.

WAUSAU, Wis. (AP) — A Marathon County prosecutor says the man accused of killing his daughter by praying instead of seeking medical help considered her illness "a test of his faith."

Opening statements began today for 47-year-old Dale Neumann. He's charged with second-degree reckless homicide in the 2008 death of his daughter Madeline.

Assistant district attorney Lance Leonhard says the case isn't about the parents having the right to raise their children as they see fit, but about Madeline's needless suffering and death.

Defense attorney Jay Kronenwetter counters that his client didn't know his 11-year-old daughter had diabetes. He also says there's no evidence that Neumann knew his prayers would fail to help his daughter.

The trial is expected to wrap up by Friday.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.

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UPDATED Saturday, July 25, 2009 --- 5:25 p.m.

WAUSAU, Wis. (AP) — The trial of a man accused of killing his daughter by praying for her instead of getting medical help has begun in Wausau, Wis.

The prosecution and defense gave their opening statements in a rare Saturday session and the jury will begin hearing the case Monday.

Forty-seven-year-old Dale Neumann is a "full-Gospel Christian" and is charged with second-degree reckless homicide in the 2008 death of his 11-year-old daughter Kara. Neumann's wife Leilani was convicted this spring and faces up to 25 years in prison when sentenced in October.

The child died from undiagnosed diabetes last year, surrounded by people who were praying for her. They called 911 when she stopped breathing.

The prosecution contends the parents ignored her deteriorating health, even when she became too sick to eat, drink or even speak and contends they had a legal duty to take her to a doctor.

Neumann's lawyer says he didn't know she had diabetes and that there is no evidence he knew his prayers wouldn't help her.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.

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UPDATED Friday, July 24, 2009 --- 3:35 p.m.

WAUSAU, Wis. (AP) -- A jury has been picked for the Weston father accused of second-degree reckless homicide for praying instead of seeking medical help for his dying daughter.

Attorneys on Friday picked an eight-man, six-woman jury to hear an expected five days of testimony.

Opening statements are planned Saturday in Marathon County, with witnesses to begin testifying Monday.

Forty-seven-year-old Dale Neumann was charged after 11-year-old Madeline Neumann died last year from undiagnosed diabetes. A jury convicted the girl's mother of the same charge in May.

Prosecutors contend the father recklessly killed Madeline by ignoring obvious symptoms of her deteriorating health. The parents say they believed God would heal the girl.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Friday, July 24, 2009 --- 11:30 a.m.

WAUSAU, Wis. (AP) -- A second day of jury selection is under way in the trial of a father accused of second-degree reckless homicide for praying instead of seeking medical help for his dying daughter.

Forty-seven-year-old Dale Neumann was charged after the 2008 death of 11-year-old Madeline Neumann from undiagnosed diabetes. A jury convicted the girl's mother of the same charge in May.

Marathon County Clerk of Courts Diane Sennholz said Friday a jury for the father's trial was expected to be picked by the end of the day, with opening statements from attorneys planned Saturday. She said 18 people were dismissed Thursday from a pool of 60 potential jurors.

Prosecutors contend Dale Neumann recklessly killed his daughter by ignoring obvious symptoms of her deteriorating health. The parents say they believed that God would heal the girl.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Thursday, July 23, 2009 --- 7:25 a.m.

WAUSAU, Wis. (AP) -- The trial of a father accused of second-degree reckless homicide for praying instead of seeking medical help for his dying daughter starts Thursday with jury selection.

Forty-seven-year-old Dale Neumann was charged after the 2008 death of 11-year-old Madeline Neumann from undiagnosed diabetes. A jury convicted the girl's mother of the same charge in May. She awaits sentencing Oct. 6 and faces up to 25 years in prison.

Prosecutors contend the parents recklessly killed the girl by ignoring obvious symptoms of her deteriorating health. The parents say they believe that God would heal their daughter.

Marathon County Clerk of Courts Diane Sennholz says the jury will be picked from a pool of 100 county residents, none of whom were summoned for the mother's trial.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Tuesday, June 9, 2009 --- 10:50 a.m.

WAUSAU, Wis. (AP) -- The mother convicted of reckless homicide for praying while her daughter became gravely ill and died of undiagnosed diabetes will be sentenced Oct. 6.

A Marathon County jury convicted 41-year-old Leilani Neumann, of rural Weston, of second-degree reckless homicide on May 22 for failing to rush 11-year-old Madeline Kara Neumann to a doctor.

The girl died of untreated diabetes in March 2008. Prosecutors convinced a jury the mother recklessly killed the girl by ignoring obvious symptoms until it was too late.

Judge Vincent Howard set the sentencing date during a brief court hearing Tuesday.

The maximum punishment for the conviction is 25 years in prison.

The child's father, Dale Neumann, is also charged with second-degree reckless homicide. His trial begins July 23.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Tuesday, May 26, 2009 --- 11:45 a.m.

WAUSAU, Wis. (AP) -- The mother convicted of allowing her daughter to die while the woman prayed for healing says the verdict shows how much more work needs to be done in her fight for religious freedom.

A Marathon County jury convicted 41-year-old Leilani Neumann, of rural Weston, of second-degree reckless homicide for failing to get medical help for 11-year-old Madeline Kara Neumann. The girl died of untreated diabetes in March 2008.

Neumann did not react following the verdict Friday, but issued a statement over the Memorial Day weekend.

Neumann says she did was she thought was lawful. She says "the real issue is our local and national government is turning more and more anti-God."

The child's father, Dale Neumann, will face his own trial in July on a charge of second-degree reckless homicide.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Saturday, May 23, 2009 --- 9:05 a.m.

WAUSAU, Wis. (AP) — A jury in Wausau has found a mother guilty of reckless homicide of her 11-year-old daughter because she prayed instead of taking the girl for medical treatment.

Madeline Neumann died from untreated diabetes on Easter Sunday of last year.

Now her mother, 41-year-old Leilani Neumann of rural Weston has been convicted of second-degree reckless homicide in the death. The charge carries up to 25 years in prison.

No sentencing date is set. Neumann remains free on bond.

Jurors declined to talk with reporters. District Attorney Jill Falstad declined comment because Neumann's husband Dale faces trial on the same charge in July.

Defense lawyer Gene Linehan says there will be an appeal.

Neumann's stepfather, Brian Gordon of San Diego, says he's disappointed by the verdict and the jury was mistaken. He says his stepdaughter did nothing wrong in trusting in God to heal her daughter.

The courtroom was quiet and there was no outburst when the verdict was read. Leilani Neumann showed no emotion and walked out of the courtroom clutching her husband and declined comment.

Her three children sat in the front row looking stunned.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.

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UPDATED Friday May 22, 2009---4:45 pm

WAUSAU, Wis. (AP) -- A jury has found a central Wisconsin woman guilty of second-degree reckless homicide for praying instead of rushing her daughter to the doctor.

Forty-one-year-old Leilani Neumann was convicted Friday in her 11-year-old daughter Madeline's March 2008 death from untreated diabetes at their rural Weston home.

Prosecutors contend a reasonable parent would have known something was wrong with Madeline. They say her mother recklessly killed her by ignoring obvious symptoms, such as she couldn't walk or talk.

Neumann told a detective in a videotaped interview played Wednesday at her trial that the Lord was going to take care of her daughter and all she needed was prayer.

She faces up to 25 years in prison.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Friday, May 22, 2009 --- 11:10 a.m.

WAUSAU, Wis. (AP) -- A prosecutor says a mother who prayed instead of seeking care for her dying daughter is a religious extremist.

Marathon County District Attorney Jill Falstad says 41-year-old Leilani Neumann allowed her 11-year-old daughter Madeline to die of untreated diabetes as a test of her faith.

Neumann has been charged with second-degree reckless homicide in Madeline's March 2008 death at the family's rural Weston home.

Defense attorney Gene Linehan says Falstad's claim is ridiculous. He says Muslim terrorists are religious extremists. He says the Neumanns are good Christians who tried to save their daughter and didn't know she was that ill.

The jury will begin deliberations Friday after receiving its instructions.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Thursday, May 21, 2009 --- 10:05 a.m.

WAUSAU, Wis. (AP) -- The defense has rested its case without calling any witnesses in the trial of a rural Weston woman who prayed instead of getting medical care for her dying daughter.

Forty-one-year-old Leilani Neumann has been charged with second-degree reckless homicide in the March 2008 death of her daughter Madeline from untreated diabetes.

Judge Vincent Howard ordered the trial to recess until Friday morning.

Prosecutors wrapped up their case earlier Thursday, calling as their last witness a pediatrician who treated Madeline after she was rushed to a Wausau area hospital.

Dr. Joseph Monaco says medical staff spent about 50 minutes trying to revive Madeline, even her heart had stopped. He says her diabetes could have been treated if she'd been brought in earlier.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Wednesday, May 20, 2009 --- 10:34 a.m.

WAUSAU, Wis. (AP) -- A woman who saw an 11-year-old girl just hours before she died of diabetes says she was shocked by the girl's condition but never considered advising the family to get her to a doctor.

Jennifer Peaslee testified Wednesday in the trial of Leilani Neumann.

Neumann is charged with second-degree reckless homicide for praying instead of seeking medical care for her daughter Madeline. The child died March 23, 2008, from untreated diabetes.

Peaslee says she saw Madeline that morning, laying on a bathroom floor unconscious. She says she knew the parents wouldn't take her to a doctor because they believe the Lord can heal.

Peaslee says she prayed with the family and read Scriptures around the girl and left convinced God was going to heal the child.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Tuesday, May 19, 2009 --- 10:55 a.m.

WAUSAU, Wis. (AP) -- A one-time friend of a mother accused of homicide for praying while her daughter died says the mother believed that people get sick because they are sinning.

Althea Wormgoor took the witness stand Tuesday in the second day of the trial of Leilani Neumann. She is charged with second-degree reckless homicide in her daughter Madeline's March 23, 2008, death in rural Weston.

Wormgoor testified that just before the girl died, Neumann put her arms in the air in prayer and praised God for being able to heal diabetes and cancer and make the girl 10 times better in the future.

Wormgoor says Neumann prayed that God was going to show his power in healing the child.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Monday, May 18, 2009 --- 11:25 a.m.

WAUSAU, Wis. (AP) -- A family member says that a day before an 11-year-old girl died of untreated diabetes, her mother felt the spirit of death in the home.

Susan Neumann was the first witness to testify Monday in the trial of Leilani Neumann, who is charged with second-degree reckless homicide in her daughter Madeline's March 23, 2008, death.

Leilani Neumann is on trial because she prayed for her daughter instead of seeking medical help for her. Susan Neumann is Leilani Neumann's sister-in-law.

Susan Neumann told the jury she talked to Leilani Neumann two days after Madeline died.

She says Leilani Neumann told her she felt the spirit of death when she came home from work March 22 and was relieved to touch her daughter and realize she was still alive.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Friday, May 15, 2009 --- 2:30 p.m.

WAUSAU, Wis. (AP) -- A jury has been picked for the trial of a central Wisconsin woman accused of praying while her daughter died of undiagnosed diabetes.

Leilani Neumann is charged with second-degree reckless homicide in her daughter Madeline's Easter 2008 death. Prosecutors claim Neumann had a responsibility to take her gravely ill daughter to a doctor.

A panel of 14 jurors, including two alternates, was chosen Friday following two days of individual interviews. There are seven men and seven women.

Opening statements are planned Saturday. The trial is expected to last several days.

The 41-year-old mother has said the family believes in the Bible, which says healing comes from God, and she never expected her daughter to die.

Her husband is also charged with second-degree reckless homicide. His trial starts July 23.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Sunday, May 10, 2009 --- 5:55 p.m.

WAUSAU, Wis. (AP) — Jury selection begins Thursday in the trial of a central Wisconsin mother accused of praying while her daughter died of undiagnosed diabetes.

Leilani Neumann is charged with second-degree reckless homicide in daughter Madeline's Easter 2008 death at their rural Weston home. Prosecutors say Neumann had a duty to take her sick daughter to a doctor.

The 41-year-old mother has said the family believes in the Bible, which says healing comes from God, and she never expected her daughter to die.

A jury from Marathon County is being picked and the trial is expected to last through the next week.

Clerk of Courts Diane Sennholz says questionnaires were sent to 250 potential jurors.

The girl's father's trial starts July 23.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.

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UPDATED Friday, April 3, 2009 --- 3:35 p.m.

WAUSAU, Wis. (AP) -- The attorneys for parents accused of praying instead of seeking medical care for their dying daughter are asking a judge to find Marathon County District Attorney Jill Falstad in contempt.

Attorneys for Dale and Leilani Neumann say the couple haven't been able to get their personal property back despite repeated requests. Authorities seized journals, computers and other items after their 11-year-old daughter died March 23, 2008, from untreated diabetes.

Marathon County Circuit Court Judge Vincent Howard had ordered the property returned by Tuesday.

But a motion filed Thursday says the couple's computers were still at the State Crime Lab in Madison on Tuesday and Falstad hadn't authorized other items' release.

The Neumanns have been charged with reckless homicide.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Friday, March 20, 2009 --- 10:30 a.m.

WAUSAU, Wis. (AP) -- The attorney for the mother accused of reckless homicide for praying instead of taking her 11-year-old daughter to a doctor says his client has run out of money to defend herself.

Attorney Gene Linehan told a judge Friday that Leilani Neumann of Weston has already spent $12,000 in donations on her legal expenses and can't hire needed expert witnesses for her May trial.

Linehan says all Neumann has now is a law book and Bible to defend herself.

Neumann and her husband, Dale, are charged with second-degree reckless homicide in the Easter death of their daughter, Madeline, from undiagnosed diabetes.

Judge Vincent Howard told Leilani Neumann to seek help from state public defenders and report back to him.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Monday, December 22, 2008 --- 3:00 p.m.

WAUSAU, Wis. (AP) -- A judge has set separate trials for parents accused of reckless homicide for praying instead of taking their 11-year-old daughter to a doctor as she died of undiagnosed diabetes.

Marathon County Circuit Judge Vincent Howard on Monday set Leilani Neumann's trial to begin May 14 and her husband Dale's for July 23.

Jay Kronenwetter, an attorney for the parents, says both trials are expected to take at least a week.

The parents are charged with second-degree reckless homicide in the Easter death of their daughter, Madeline, at their home in Weston.

Prosecutors say the girl was too weak to speak, eat, drink or walk and the parents had a legal duty to seek medical care instead of just praying for her.

The maximum punishment for the charge is 25 years in prison.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Thursday, December 18, 2008 --- 7:30 p.m.

WAUSAU, Wis. (AP) -- A judge says he's ready to schedule the trial of parents accused of reckless homicide for praying instead of taking their 11-year-old daughter to a doctor as she died of undiagnosed diabetes.

Jay Kronenwetter, one of the attorneys for Dale and Leilani Neumann, said Thursday that Marathon County Circuit Judge Vincent Howard's refusal to dismiss the charges on constitutional grounds will not be appealed.

Kronenwetter says the parents want a trial within 90 days.

Howard says a hearing with attorneys is planned Monday to schedule a trial.

The Neumanns have pleaded not guilty to second-degree reckless homicide, which carries a maximum punishment of 25 years in prison.

Their daughter, Madeline, died at their Weston home on Easter after becoming too weak to speak, eat, drink or walk.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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UPDATED Sunday, November 30, 2008 --- 11:50 a.m.

WAUSAU, Wis. (AP) -- A judge is expected to decide this week whether to dismiss reckless homicide charges against parents accused of praying instead of seeking a doctor's care as their 11-year-old daughter died of untreated diabetes.

Marathon County Circuit Judge Vincent Howard has said that courts in two states have tossed out similar cases while courts in two other states allowed them to go to trial.

Dale and Leilani Neumann have pleaded not guilty to second-degree reckless homicide. Their attorneys want the charges dismissed on constitutional grounds.

Prosecutors say the couple's daughter, Madeline, died at their Weston home on Easter after becoming too weak to speak, eat, drink or walk. They claim the girl likely had symptoms for weeks that should have prompted the parents to seek medical treatment.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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Tuesday, August 19, 2008 --- 10:30 a.m.

WAUSAU, Wis. (AP) -- A couple accused of letting their 11-year-old daughter die of untreated diabetes has pleaded not guilty to second-degree reckless homicide.

Dale and Leilani Neumann did not speak during their arraignment Tuesday in Marathon County Circuit Court. Their attorneys entered not guilty pleas for them.

The Weston couple were charged after their daughter Kara died of untreated diabetes on Easter. The family had prayed for her instead of seeking medical care.

Leilani Neumann has said the family believes in the Bible, which says healing comes from God, and she never expected her daughter to die.

She and her husband face up to 25 years in prison if convicted.

A judge recently ordered biweekly check ups for the Neumanns' three surviving children to make sure they get any needed medical care.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.


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