July 31, 2014

Supreme Court to hear appeal in prayer death case

The state Supreme Court is set to hear arguments this morning in a prayer death case.

Dale and Leilani Neumann of Weston were convicted in Marathon County in 2009 of second degree reckless homicide for failing to get medical help for their 11-year-old daughter. Madeline Neumann died in March of 2008 from complications associated with an undiagnosed case of diabetes. Despite showing symptoms for two weeks, the Neumanns chose to pray for their daughter instead of seeking medical attention.

They each received ten years of probation, along with one month in jail each year for the first six years of their sentence.

The Neumanns appealed their convictions based on several arguments, including whether an exemption for faith healing should have been considered. The state has argued the prayer exemption does not apply to cases of homicide and does not protect parents from a medical obligation to seek life-saving treatments for their children.