Recap of Testimony in Leilani Neumann Trial

By: WSAW Staff
By: WSAW Staff

On Monday, May 18th, eight witnesses testified, including the physician who performed Kara's autopsy.

He told the court there is no doubt the girl died of untreated diabetes - and if she had received medical help almost up until the time she died - she would be alive and living a normal life.

Ariel Neff is the relative who called 9-1-1 from California the day Kara died. Neff had just married Leilani Neumann's brother a few days earlier - and had never even met Kara... but through tears she explained that just praying - as the Neumann's requested - didn't seem like enough.

Neff admitted she exaggerated about the family's efforts to convince Leilani to get medical help for Kara . she says that's because she though the 9-1-1 dispatcher wasn't taking her seriously.

It's a point the defense hammered on during cross examination.
The prosecution also played a tape of a 9-1-1 call made later from the Neumann's residence... by some acquaintances who stopped by. You can hear the chaos as the dispatcher tries in vain to talk them through c-p-r.
On tuesday a former friend of the family attempted to shed some light on Leilani Neumann's religious beliefs... and how those beliefs may have contributed to Kara's death.

On the topic of sickness and sinning, Althea Wormgoor told the jury Leilani said, "if you're sick - you're sinning". Wormgoor says her family moved from California to Wisconsin to study the Bible and open a second branch of the Neumann's coffee shop.

She says when the Neumann's beliefs strayed from the good book they had a falling out - and Leilani later suggested Kara was sick *because of* the bad blood between the two families. Wormgoor testified, "She said something about, do you think the unforgiveness between us could be causing this. I said we have no control over your daughter, for that matter over anyone and I said no that's not even a possibility." The defendant's husband Dale Neumann was *scheduled* to take the stand on this day - but was never called.

On Wednesday, May 20th, Kara's 16-year old sister testified Kara was so sick the day before she died, she couldn't walk or talk. That night she says she and her brother were worried - so they stayed by Kara's side throughout the night - while their mother went to bed. The girl testified, "My mom was going to, but she was really exhausted. she checked on her in the night though." When asked how she knew that, the girl replied, "Cuz she told her she would and I woke up to her checking on her and stuff."

When the defense cross-examined her, the girl came to her mother's defense - testifying she thinks praying for Kara and not taking her to the doctor was the right thing to do.

The defendant's mother-in-law also took the stand. She says the day before Kara died, Leilani Neumann called asking her to pray for her sick grand-daughter ... the next day she learned Kara was in a coma.

Defense Attorney Gene Linehan did cross examine the prosecutions witnesses - but never called any of his own. He originally submitted a witness list with several names on it.... including Dale Neumann - and Leilani Neumann herself.

However on Thursday morning after the prosecution rested its case - the attorneys approached the bench. A short time later, Linehan simply walked over to the jury - and rested his case.


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