UPDATE: New Judge to Take Over Neumann Case

By: Team Coverage Email
By: Team Coverage Email
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UPDATED: Tues 10:07 AM, Jul 09, 2013

District Court Administrator Susan Byrnes tells NewsChannel Judge Greg Huber has been assigned to Dale and Leilani Neumann's cases.

UPDATED: Mon 5:36 PM, Jul 08, 2013

A new judge will take over Dale and Leilani Neumann's case in Marathon County.

The judge who presided over their original trials, Vincent Howard has since retired. His replacement, Judge Lamont Jacobson was one of the prosecuting attorneys in the Neumann cases, so a different judge will have to be assigned.

On July 3, the State Supreme Court upheld the Neumann's conviction. They're attorneys have not said whether they'll appeal to the US Supreme Court.

UPDATE: Wed 4:20 PM, July 3, 2013

Marathon County prosecutors tell NewsChannel 7 they will be filing a motion to have Dale and Leilani Neumann begin serving their sentence.

The State Supreme Court upheld the Weston couple's second degree reckless homicide conviction in the 2008 of their 11-year-old daughter, Madeline, who was also known as Kara.

Prosecutors say they have to wait for the official paperwork on the justice's decision before filing the motion.

The Neumanns were sentenced to 30-days in jail each, once a year, for 6-years and 10-years probation. The sentence was stayed, or put on hold pending the outcome of their appeal.

UPDATED: Wed 9:27 AM, Jul 03, 2013

Click here to view the opinion from the Supreme Court of Wisconsin.

The Wisconsin Supreme Court has upheld the convictions of Dale and Leilani Neumann. The Neumann's are the Weston parents that choose to pray for their daughter instead of seeking medical treatment for her diabetes.

Eleven-year-old Madeline Kara Neumann died at her parents' home of treatable diabetes in 2008. The couple was convicted of second-degree reckless homicide in 2009.

The couple's attorneys noted that state law protects parents from being charged with child abuse if they choose prayer healing for an ailing child instead of medical assistance. They argued that it's difficult to know where that protection ends.

State attorneys said that immunity ends when a child is nearing death. They said the couple had a duty to seek medical help.

NewsChannel 7 spoke to Leilani Neumann's attorney Bryon Lichstein Wednesday morning following the ruling, Lichstein said he was disappointment in the outcome and they're reviewing their options.

The Associated Press contributed to this report


UPDATED: Mon 6:32 PM, Jul 01, 2013

The Wisconsin Supreme Court is expected issue their ruling Thursday on whether Dale and Leilani Neumann's 2009 reckless homicide convictions will be overturned.

The Weston couple was convicted in the death of their 11-year-old daughter after she died of untreated diabetes. The couple admitted to praying for their daughter rather than seeking medical treatment.

If the Neumanns are unsatisfied with the ruling they may appeal their case to the U.S. Supreme Court.

ORIGINAL STORY: Tues 7:19 AM, Dec 04, 2012

The Wisconsin Supreme Court is deciding whether Dale and Leilani Neumann's 2009 reckless homicide convictions should be overturned in the death of their 11-year-old daughter.

Madeline Kara Neumann died of untreated diabetes in 2008, after the Neumanns decided to pray over her, rather than seeing a doctor.

The justices heard oral arguments at the Capitol in Madison Tuesday and will write an opinion on whether state law protects prayer healers even up until the point of death.

The Neumanns' attorneys are asking the court to reverse their convictions, arguing state law does protect prayer healers and the statutes aren't clear on when a situation becomes so serious they must seek medical help.

"Under the facts of this case there isn't notice to a parent in the Neumanns' position about when prayer treatment became illegal," said Bryon Lichstein, who is representing Leilani Neumann.

Assistant Attorney General Maura Whelan, representing the state, told the justices parents who pray over a sick child can't be protected under prayer immunity after the child is in grave danger of dying, in Madeline's case when she slipped into a coma.

Whelan says the Neumanns placed their daughter at a substantial risk of death and had to have known they crossed the line.

"If the Neumanns had read the statute they could not have reasonably concluded they could with impunity pray over Kara after she had slipped into a coma," she argued.

The Neumanns attorneys argue Wisconsin law provides broad protection for prayer immunity and that the jury that convicted the couple were given instructions that negated the prayer treatment privilege granted by Wisconsin child abuse laws.

After the oral arguments, Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson acknowledged that this is a very difficult case, one that is both tragic for Madeline and her family.

It's unclear how long it will take for the justices to write their opinion on the case. The Neumanns were each sentenced to six months in jail, but have yet to serve any jail time.

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