Woman who prayed as daughter died found guilty

Posted May 23, 2009 by Chris V. Thangham
A Wisconsin county jury found the mother guilty after she was accused of resorting to prayers instead of treating her dying daughter in the hospital.
Many people with type I diabetes need daily underskin shots of insulin.
Many people with type I diabetes need daily underskin shots of insulin.
File photo
Leilani Neumann, 41, from Weston, Wisconsin, believes in faith healing. Her 11-year-old daughter, Madeline, was suffering from untreated diabetes.
Instead of taking her to the hospital, Neumann, her husband and their business and Bible study partners surrounded Madeline and started praying. When Madeline stopped breathing, they then called 911.
A Marathon County jury found Neumann guilty and convicted her of reckless homicide. She faces a sentence of up to 25 years in prison.
Prosecutors earlier told the courts that Neumann ignored her daughter’s obvious symptoms after Madeline was unable to walk or talk.
Defense lawyer Gene Linehan defended his client and said Neumann “did everything she could to help, in line with the family's belief in faith healing”.
Marathon County District Attorney Jill Falstad in her closing arguments attacked Neumann and described her as a “religious zealot”. Falstad told the court:
"Religious extremism can be dangerous...In this case, it was fatal. Basic medical care would have saved Kara's life — fluids and insulin. There was plenty of time to save Kara's (Madeline’s another name) life."
Linehan responded to her arguments by saying Neumann was a devout Christian, who prays about everything and took care of her four children.
Linehan told the court:
"Religious extremism is a Muslim terrorist...They are saying these parents were so far off the scale that they murdered their child. The woman did everything she could to help her. That is the injustice in this case."
Neumann's stepfather, Brian Gordon of San Diego, also defended her and said the mother should have the right in this country to trust god to heal her daughter.
Gordon told Fox News: "We definitely are not terrorists...We are Bible-believing, God-believing, Holy Ghost-filled people who want to do right and be right."
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