Father found guilty in faith healing death
WAUSAU, Wis. – A central Wisconsin man accused of killing his 11-year-old daughter by praying instead of seeking medical care was found guilty Saturday of second-degree reckless homicide.
Dale Neumann, 47, was convicted in the March 23, 2008, death of his daughter, Madeline, from undiagnosed diabetes. Prosecutors contended he 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.
Sitting straight in his chair, Neumann stared at the jury as the verdict in a nearly empty courtroom was read. He declined comment as he left the courthouse.
Defense attorney Jay Kronenwetter said the verdict would be appealed.
Leilani Neumann, 41, was convicted on the same charge in the spring. Marathon County Circuit Judge Vincent Howard set Oct. 6 for sentencing for both parents, who face up to 25 years in prison.
Neumann, who once studied to be a Pentecostal minister, testified Thursday that he believed God would heal his daughter and he never expected her to die. God promises in the Bible to heal, he said.
“If I go to the doctor, I am putting the doctor before God,” Neumann testified. “I am not believing what he said he would do.”
The father testified that he thought Madeline had the flu or a fever, and several relatives and family friends said they also did not realize how sick she was.
Assistant District Attorney LaMont Jacobson told jurors in closing arguments Friday that Neumann was “overwhelmed by pride” in his interpretation of the Bible and selfishly let Madeline die as a test of faith.
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