Day One of Testimony in Neumann Trial Over; Forensic Doctor and Victim's Aunt Among the Witnesses

By: WSAW Staff Email
By: WSAW Staff Email
  Day one of testimony in the trial for Leilani Neumann is over.  She and her husband are accused of praying instead of seeking medical attention for the 11-year old girl, who died of untreated diabetes.  Monday was the first day of testimony in the trial for Leilani.

Leilani Neumann

Marathon County Medical Examiner John Larson says Kara Neumann's body appeared "emaciated and malnourished." He was called to the hospital after efforts to revive the 11-year old Weston girl failed. Larson also testified the girl appeared dehydrated and that Kara Neumann died of untreated diabetes.

On cross examination, Larson testifiled he was unaware whether Kara Neumann was showing some of the symptoms of late stage, untreated diabetes. He said it was possible, but highly unlikely she wasn't showing any symptoms.

The next witness was Dr. Michael Stier who testified his autopsy showed Kara died of untreated diabetes. He said the process of dying of the disease would have occured over time, and that it would be like starvation. Stier testified that Kara was not starving because she wasn't given food, she was starving because of the diabetes not allowing her to carry food to her tissue.

He testified that even though food was found in the little girl's stomach during the autopsy, he can't say how long before she died she had eaten. Sometimes for various reasons, the stomach will not digest food.

On cross examination, Dr. Stier said symptoms can vary in diabetics.

Larson and Stier were the 6th and 7th to take the stand in the trial for Leilani Neumann. She and her husband, Dale are charged with second degree reckless homicide in their daughter, Kara's death. Authorities say they prayed for the girl instead of getting her medical treatment.

After the forensic doctor, a member of the Neumann's Bible study group, Dan Peaslee testified that Leilani called to ask he and his wife to pray for Kara the morning she died. He said Leilani left a message on his phone that Kara was in a coma.

Earlier, Ariel Neff, Leilani Neumann's estranged sister-in-law and victim's aunt from Califorinia testified. She called 911 from, alerting authorities of Kara's condition the day she died. Neff testified she had to call authorities because she knew if nothing was done, the little girl would die.

Neff testified the Neumann's asked the family to pray for Kara because she was sick the day before she died.

The prosecution then played the 911 calls she made to the departrment. It took three calls because she did not know the proper spelling of the Neumann's name or the correct address of their home.

On the final call, she tells the dispatcher her family has been trying to convince Leilani to call an ambulance, but she has refused. In testimony, she admitted she exaggerated to dispatchers about how long they tried to convince Neumann to get medical help for the girl because she didn't think the dispatchers were taking her very seriously.

On cross examination, the defense attorney asked if Neff knew an exaggeration is a lie. She admitted it was.

The next witness to take the stand was a Marathon County Dispatcher. Prosecutors then played a 911 call made from the Neumann's home the day Kara died. It was very chaotic as the dispatcher tried to help them through giving Kara mouth to mouth resusitation. The call was not made by the Neumanns it was made by a family friend who stopped by the home.

That testimony was followed by two Everest Metro Police officers who were called to the Neumann's house the day that Kara died.

Susan Neumann, Dale Neumann's sister-in-law and the victim's aunt was the first to testify Monday.

She detailed the weekend that Kara died. Susan Neumann testifed Kara's brother told her she was in a coma the day before she died.

In cross examination, Neumann testified Kara was always a thin kid. She also testified she called police after Kara died because she was afraid the family was going to commit mass suicide. She also testifed she figured out how Kara died by using the symptons she heard Kara had and doing research on the internet.

The judge started the day telling the suspect's husband Dale he cannot be in the courtroom until after he testifies. He's expected to take the stand on Tuesday.

The judge and attorneys also discussed finding an attorney to represent the interests of the other Neumann children. The attorney originally appointed cannot do it because of a conflict of interest. Judge Vincent Howard said he's having his assistant find a different attorney'.

Leilani Neumann's trial is expected to last through the week. Dale Neumann's is set for July. If convicted, they face up to 25-years in prison.

NOTE: NewsChannel 7 had hoped to video stream the trial live at www.wsaw.com. On Saturday a piece for the equipment needed for the task broke down. Engineers hope that piece arrives Monday or Tuesday, at which point we hope to start up the video streaming.


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