Father to be tried on same charges in July
WAUSAU, Wis. — A jury Friday found a central Wisconsin mother guilty of killing her 11-year-old daughter by praying for her to heal instead of rushing her to the doctor.
A Marathon County jury deliberated about four hours before convicting Leilani Neumann, 41, of rural Weston, of second-degree reckless homicide. No sentencing date was set. Neumann remains free on bond.
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“We have another shot on appeal,” defense lawyer Gene Linehan said. “Obviously, there will be an appeal.”
Neumann left the courtroom clutching her husband as her three other children, looking stunned, followed. She declined comment.
Neumann’s daughter, Madeline, died of untreated diabetes March 23, 2008, surrounded by people praying for her. When she suddenly stopped breathing, her parents’ business and Bible study partners finally called 911.
… Madeline’s father, Dale Neumann, faces the same charge and is scheduled to stand trial in July.
Neumann showed no reaction when the verdict was read. Before the jury took the case, she and her husband clutched each other and silently prayed with another man. Then she went to each of her other children sitting on a front-row courtroom bench and kissed them on the cheek.
She faces up to 25 years in prison.
The Marathon County jury found Neumann. 41, guilty of second-degree reckless homicide after nearly four hours of deliberations in a trial that has drawn national attention.
Her attorney, Gene Linehan, said Neumann will appeal the verdict, partly because a defense expert on faith healing was barred from testifying.
Brian Gordon, Neumann’s stepfather, said she will be exonerated and that justice will be served, an apparent reference to the expected appeal.
Marathon County District Attorney Jill Falstad, the lead prosecutor, offered no comment after the verdict, including on the sentence she would recommend for Neumann. No sentencing date was set.
Lamont Jacobson, the assistant district attorney also prosecuting the case, added, “We don’t dare give a statement because of Dale’s case.” Dale Neumann, father of Madeline Kara Neumann, faces the same charge in a trial scheduled for July.