U.S. man who prayed while daughter died convicted of homicide
A Wisconsin man who prayed instead of seeking medical care while his 11-year-old daughter died was found guilty Saturday of second-degree reckless homicide.
Dale Neumann, 47, was convicted in the 2003 death of his daughter, Madeline, from undiagnosed diabetes.
Prosecutors said the girl couldn't walk, talk, eat or speak. But instead of taking her to hospital, people surrounded her and prayed while she lay on the floor of the family's home in rural Weston, Wis. Someone called 911 when she stopped breathing.
Neumann's wife Leilani, 41, was convicted of the same charge in the spring and is scheduled for sentencing Oct. 6. Both face up to 25 years in prison.
Neumann, who once studied to be a Pentecostal minister, testified Thursday that he believed God would heal his daughter and he never expected her to die. God promises in the Bible to heal, he said.
"If I go to the doctor, I am putting the doctor before God," Neumann testified. "I am not believing what he said he would do."
Neumann said he thought Madeline had the flu or a fever, and several relatives and family friends testified they also didn't realize how sick she was.
Marathon County Assistant District Attorney LaMont Jacobson told jurors Friday that Neumann was "overwhelmed by pride" in his interpretation of the Bible and selfishly let Madeline die as a test of faith. Neumann knew he should have taken his daughter to a doctor and minimized her illness when speaking with investigators, Jacobson said.
Doctors testified that Madeline would have had a good chance of survival if she had received medical care, including insulin and fluids, before she stopped breathing.
The six-man, six-woman jury deliberated about 15 hours over two days before convicting Neumann.