Panel expected to be set today; husband a potential witness
Attorneys in the trial of a woman accused of praying for her daughter’s recovery as the girl was dying are close to picking a jury for her weeklong trial.
Leilani Neumann, 41, of the town of Weston faces a charge of second-degree reckless homicide in connection with the death of her 11-year-old daughter, Madeline Kara Neumann.
Kara, as she was known, died on March 23, 2008. Prosecutors say Leilani and her husband, Dale, should have known they had a duty to take the girl to a doctor. Leilani’s attorney, Gene Linehan, said the family practices faith-healing.
A list of nearly 50 potential witnesses includes Dale Neumann, 47, who also faces a charge of second-degree reckless homicide. His trial is scheduled to begin July 23.
Judge deliberates on faith healer’s testimony in prayer death trial
A judge will rule in the coming days whether the court will allow a faith healer to testify as an expert witness in the trial of a woman accused of praying while her daughter died of undiagnosed diabetes.
Neumann’s attorney, Gene Linehan, told Marathon County Circuit Court Judge Vincent Howard on Wednesday that Thurman Scrivner, a Texas pastor, would testify that faith healing is a legitimate way people can cure illness.
Linehan said a faith healing expert can show jurors that prayer can heal. It is the opposite viewpoint of prosecutors, who are calling medical doctors to testify.
Marathon County District Attorney Jill Falstad said there is no way to prove Scrivner’s probable testimony about faith healing success stories without drawing out the trial for weeks. Falstad also said it’s common knowledge that prayer works for some people.
“It’s common knowledge that people go to doctors. Do we exclude doctors?” Linehan countered.
A Marathon County judge is allowing Leilani Neumann’s attorney 24 hours to summarize the testimony from an expert witness.
Wednesday afternoon, the judge said he cannot make a fair ruling to allow or deny testimony from a faith healing expert without knowing what the witness is going to say.
The Prosecution filed a motion to remove the witness’s testimony from the trial.