Weston mother convicted in prayer-death case heads back to court - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Weston mother convicted in prayer-death case heads back to court

 By Anna Carrera - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

MARATHON COUNTY (WAOW) -- The Weston mother convicted of praying, instead of taking her 11-year-old daughter to a doctor, returned to court on Monday.

Leilani Neumann's lawyers look to appeal the jury's decision from two years ago, saying her attorney at the time didn't do everything in his power to defend her. Neumann's appeals team said her trial attorney, the late Gene Linehan, did not present a strong enough defensive case, partly because of his poor health at the time.


They said his performance was so bad that if Leilani had utilized a different lawyer, her trial may have had a different outcome.


"The mistakes that we've pointed out today were significant mistakes," said defense attorney Byron Lichstein. "They definitely would have made a difference in the outcome of the trial."


However, prosecuting attorneys said Linehan was a well-established lawyer who was aware of his health issues and fully capable of taking care of the case and himself.


"An attorney at trial has to abide by the rules the judge sets down and our argument is going to be that's not ineffective then," said prosecuting attorney LaMont Jacobson.


Besides concerns about representation, Leilani's new attorneys also question a star defense witness not being allowed to testify and how the jury was instructed before deliberation.


"Under the law, if the Neumann's sincerely believed that what they were doing was the best thing for their daughter, they're not guilty of the crime," said Lichstein. "We think the instructions told them otherwise."

Leilani and her husband, Dale, were both convicted of second-degree reckless homicide in the death their of 11-year-old Kara, who died in 2008. Doctors said Kara died from complications of untreated diabetes.

"Although there was testimony today, so much of what has to be examined is contained within the trial transcripts, motions leading up to trial and certainly any other motions that occur post-trial," said Jacobson.


Dale heads back to court on Tuesday the 22nd in an effort to overturn his case as well. Both were sentenced to 6 months jail and probation.

After the judge hears both Leilani's and Dale's cases, the attorneys will compile the testimonies for their briefings. Lawyers said they should have a ruling by the middle of April.

Online Reporter: Anna Carrera



Powered by Frankly