Father in 2008 prayer death case now in jail - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Father in 2008 prayer death case now in jail

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WAUSAU (WAOW) – The Weston father who prayed while his daughter died of untreated diabetes in 2008 has started serving a six-month jail sentence, according to the Marathon County Sheriff's Department.

Dale Neumann, 52, who with his wife Leilani was convicted of second-degree reckless homicide in the death of their 11-year-old daughter Madeline, arrived at the jail Monday, a supervisor said Thursday. The father does not have work privileges, the supervisor said.

The parents were sentenced in 2009 to six months in jail and 10 years' probation but the jail sentence was put on hold while they appealed the convictions. The U.S. Supreme Court refused to take the case late last year.

The mother, 46, is to begin serving her sentence in March. The sentences were structured so that each parent will spend one month in jail a year, for the next six years, as the judge wanted them to “think about Kara and what God wants you to learn from this.”

Kara was their daughter's nickname.

Separate juries agreed with prosecutors that the Neumann's 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. Her form of diabetes was treatable, doctors testified.


The case was believed to be the first of its kind in Wisconsin involving faith healing in which someone died and another person was charged with a homicide.

When he was sentenced, Dale Neumann told the judge, “I am guilty of trusting my Lord's wisdom completely. ...Guilty of following Jesus Christ when the whole world does not understand.”

In testimony at trial and videotaped interviews with police, the parents said they believe healing comes from God and that they never expected their daughter to die as they prayed for her and summoned others to do the same. A friend who was at the family's rural Weston home called 911 after the girl stopped breathing.

In sentencing the Neumanns, a judge said they made their daughter ”a martyr” to their faith.

In late January, Marathon County Circuit Judge Greg Huber denied a motion seeking to drop the jail time from the sentence.


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