A town of Weston couple accused of recklessly allowing their daughter to die while praying for her recovery are each free on a $200,000 signature bond.
Dale and Leilani Neumann made their initial court appearance this morning on a felony charge of second-degree reckless homicide before Marathon County Circuit Court Judge Vincent Howard. They walked into the courtroom holding hands and Leilani was wearing sunglasses. She removed them when the hearing started.
Their 11-year-old daughter, Madeline Kara Neumann, died March 23 from complications of diabetes after her parents sought to heal her through prayer instead of seeking medical attention that would have saved her life, according to a criminal complaint.
The Neumanns’ other three children — placed in the care of relatives for the past month — were returned to the home Tuesday, but they were ordered to follow a safety plan created by the Department of Social Services. Part of that plan includes having access to two people who will serve as caretakers, Marathon County District Attorney Jill Falstad said. The two have been interviewed by social workers and will seek medical care for the children if needed, she said.
In addition to the signature bond for each, Howard also accepted prosecutors’ recommendation for a $50,000 property bond on the Neumanns’ Maplewood Drive home. The Neumanns’ attorney, Gene Linehan, said a second home is for sale to help with the attorney costs. The Neumanns’ next court appearance is for an indigency on May 7.
“This is not a case the average family can afford,” said Linehan, adding that this case will be lengthy and could go before the state Supreme Court.
Earlier in the hearing, Linehan said the couple were “anxious to see this draw to a conclusion and hopeful for a favorable conclusion.”
The couple told investigators they had not taken Kara to a doctor since she was 3 years old and that they did not know she had diabetes, according to police.
Prosecutors say Kara’s death could have been avoided with the help of doctors.
The Neumanns answered several short questions in the hearing but Judge Howard imposed a gag order so that neither side can discuss the case with the news media.
Future court dates include a motion hearing on May 20 and a preliminary hearing on June 10.
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