Faith healing: Parents face homicide charges in girl’s death

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A town of Weston couple whose 11-year-old child died after they chose to pray for her healing rather than seek medical attention will be charged Wednesday with second-degree reckless homicide, a prosecutor said today.

Marathon County District Attorney Jill Falstad announced at 1 p.m. at a press conference in Weston that Dale and Leilani Neumann each will be charged with second-degree reckless homicide, a charge that carries a punishment of up to 25 years in prison.

Faith Healing
The term ‘faith healing’ refers to healing that occurs supernaturally — as the result of prayer rather than the use of medicines or the involvement of physicians or other medical care.
But while faith healings do take place today just as they did in the early Christian church, the teachings of some churches, movements and individuals on this subject amount to spiritual abuse.
Legitimate churches and movements do not equal using drugs or receiving proper medical attention with unbelief, insufficient faith, or otherwise sinning against God.

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The Neumanns’ daughter, Madeline Kara Neumann, died March 23 from complications of diabetes that were treatable, according to a medical examiner. Kara, 11, had not been to a doctor since age 3, and her parents told investigators that they did not know she had diabetes, police said.

During the last 48 hours of her life, Kara became unable to speak, eat or walk and had breathing difficulties, Falstad said. In her final hours, Kara was comatose, Falstad said.

The Neumanns, who were not represented by their attorney Gene Linehan at the press conference, will make an initial court appearance Wednesday. Falstad said she does not consider them a flight risk, so she will ask the judge for a high-dollar signature bond at Wednesday’s hearing.

Because there was a death involved, Falstad said she had to consider homicide charges rather than neglect charges.

Everest Metro Police Chief Dan Vergin said the Neumanns used to belong to a church, but had since branched out on their own. He cast them as “isolationists.”

Milwaukee media, including the Journal Sentinel and two television stations, also were on hand for the press conference. The circumstances surrounding Kara’s death have garnered national media attention.

• Return to throughout the day for updates and see Tuesday’s print edition for complete coverage.

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Wausau Daily Herald, USA
Apr. 28, 2008

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This post was last updated: Friday, December 16, 2016 at 10:32 AM, Central European Time (CET)