Parents in prayer death case will go to jail - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Parents in prayer death case will go to jail

MARATHON COUNTY, Wis. (WAOW) -- The Weston parents who prayed while their daughter died of untreated diabetes must spend time in jail, a judge ruled Thursday.

Dale and Leilani Neumann were sentenced in 2009 to six months in jail and 10 years probation in the March 2008 death of their 11-year-old daughter, Madeline. They have served no jail time of that sentence yet, because it was put on hold while they appealed the convictions.

Late last year, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to take the case. During a motion hearing on Thursday, the Neumanns' attorney asked for the jail time to be dropped from the sentence. The motion argued that the Neumanns' other children are now adults, out of harm's way for a repeat incident, and that jail time is not needed to send the proper message about the crime.

Judge Greg Huber denied the motion and ordered Dale Neumann to begin serving his sentence in September. Leilani will begin serving her sentencing in March of 2015. That means each will spend one month in jail a year, for next six years.

Juries convicted each parent of second-degree reckless homicide, agreeing with prosecutors that they recklessly killed the youngest of their four children by ignoring obvious symptoms of severe illness.

Prosecutors said the parents had a legal duty to take the girl to a doctor but relied totally on prayer for healing even though the girl became too weak to speak, eat, drink or walk.

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