Saturday, May 23, 2009

Wisconsin Jury Convicts Mother Who Relied on Faith Healing of Homicide

The Chicago Tribune and the Wausau Daily Herald report that yesterday in Wausau, Wisconsin, a state court jury found Leilani Neumann guilty of second-degree reckless homicide in the death of her 11-year old daughter, Kara, whose diabetes went untreated. Instead the girl's parents, relatives and friends prayed for her as her health deteriorated and she finally went into a coma. In closing arguments, the prosecutor described Neumann as a religious zealot who let her daughter die as a test of faith. Defense counsel responded that Neumann did not realize her daughter was so ill and did all she could consistent with her family's belief in faith-healing. Neumann faces a possible sentence of 25 years in prison, and her attorney says an appeal is planned based on the trial court's refusal to allow a faith-healing expert to testify at trial. Neumann's husband, Dale, will be tried separately on similar charges in July.