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Father Who Used Prayer Instead of Medicine Found Guilty in Daughter's Death

(AP Photo/Wausau Daily Herald )
Madeline Kara Neumann shown playing at an arts festival in 2007.

WAUSAU, Wisconsin (AP) A man accused of killing his 11-year-old diabetic daughter by praying instead of seeking medical care has been found guilty of second-degree reckless homicide.

Dale Neumann, 47, was convicted in the March 23, 2008, death of his daughter, Madeline, from undiagnosed diabetes. Prosecutors contended he should have rushed the girl to a hospital because she couldn't walk, talk, eat or drink. Instead, Madeline died on the floor of the family's rural home as people surrounded her and prayed. Someone called an ambulance when she stopped breathing.

Sitting straight in his chair, Neumann stared at the jury as the verdict in a nearly empty courtroom was read Saturday. He declined comment as he left the courthouse.

Defence attorney Jay Kronenwetter said the verdict would be appealed. He declined further comment.

Prosecutors also declined comment, citing a gag order.

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."

The father testified that he thought Madeline had the flu or a fever, and several relatives and family friends said they also did not realize how sick she was.

Leilani Neumann, 41, was convicted on the same charge in the spring. Marathon County Circuit Judge Vincent Howard set Oct. 6 for sentencing for both parents, who face up to 25 years in prison.

Their case is believed to be the first in the Midwestern state of Wisconsin involving faith healing in which someone died and another person was charged with a homicide.

Last month, a jury in the western state of Oregon convicted a man of misdemeanour criminal mistreatment for relying on prayer instead of seeking medical care for his 15-month-old daughter who died of pneumonia and a blood infection in March 2008. Both of the girl's parents were acquitted of a more serious manslaughter charge.

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July 29, 2009 - Daughter Dead Because Parents Loved God?

  • Edecio Martinez

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