Dale and Leilani Neumann
Day one of the Leilani Neumann trial is over. So far, 16-jurors have been chosen. Twenty-four will be chosen after which 5 can be dismissed by the defense and 5 by the prosecution. Fourteen jurors will be seated, two of them will be alternates who will be dismissed before deliberation.
Jury selection is scheduled to resume at 9am Friday. Opening statements are set for Saturday morning.
It began at 9am Thursday with questions from the judge and attorneys in open court. The judge asked standard questions. District Attorney Jill Falstad asked jurors if they felt parents should take care of a child when the child is sick. Defense attorney Gene Linehan asked if they could stay impartial until all the witnesses had testifed. One person was dismissed because she is a friend of one of the potential witnesses, another for a medical condition.
From there, they moved into the judges chambers for more intense questioning along the same lines.
Fifteen of the first potential jurors questioned in chambers were approved. Two were then dismissed because they are self employed and would have no income if they were to become jurors. Another was dismissed when he said he couldn't be impartial because Neumann made the decisions about her daughter because of religion.
Neumann and her husband Dale are charged with second degree reckless homicide in the death of their 11-year old daughter, Kara. Prosecutors say they prayed for her instead of seeking medical attention and she died of untreated diabetes. Dale's trial is set to begin in July.
In this trial, the judge is considering a number of motions filed this week by prosecutors and the defense. Among them, prosecutors want to ban Neumann from using religious symbols and gestures during the trial. And they also want to bar the testimony of a so-called faith healer from Texas. The defense want to call him as an expert witness in the case.
You can watch the trial live at www.wsaw.com starting with opening statements. NewsChannel 7 will not live stream the jury selection on our webchannel to keep the jurors anonymous.
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