Parents who chose prayer instead of doctor for daughter seek dismissal of charges

WAUSAU, Wis. – The parents who prayed rather than seek medical help for their 11-year-old daughter before she died asked a judge Monday to dismiss reckless homicide charges against them.

Attorneys for Dale and Leilani Neumann filed a motion contending the criminal complaint was defective, according to court records.

A hearing was scheduled June 10 on the issue.

The Neumanns are charged with second-degree reckless homicide in the Easter Sunday death of their daughter, Madeline, at the family’s rural Weston home.

The parents are accused of praying for their daughter while she got progressively ill from undiagnosed diabetes instead of taking her to a doctor.

The offices of Gene Linnehan, the attorney for Leilani Neumann, were closed late Monday and he was not immediately available for comment. Jay Kroenwetter, an attorney for Dale Neumann, said he could not comment because of a judge’s gag order in the case.

Marathon County Circuit Judge Vincent Howard has said the prosecution of the parents was expected to raise constitutional issues that may have to be resolved by the state Supreme Court before the case could go to trial.

At issue is a Wisconsin law that says parents cannot be accused of abuse or neglect of a child if they in good faith selected prayer as a basis of treatment for a disease.

District Attorney Jill Falstad has said her analysis of the law is that it doesn’t apply to homicide cases.

Vacation? Short break? Day trip? Get Skip-the-line tickets at GetYourGuide.


(Listed if other than Religion News Blog, or if not shown above)

Religion News Blog posted this on Tuesday May 20, 2008.
Last updated if a date shows here:


More About This Subject


Our website includes affiliate links, which means we get a small commission -- at no additional cost to you -- for each qualifying purpose. For instance, as an Amazon Associate, Religion News Blog earns from qualifying purchases. That is one reason why we can provide this research service free of charge.

Speaking of which: One way in which you can support us — at no additional cost to you — is by shopping at