WAUSAU, Wisconsin – A father charged with killing his daughter by praying instead of taking her to a doctor read from the Bible while testifying Thursday that he couldn’t seek medical help without disobeying God.
Dale Neumann told the jury he didn’t seek medical help for his child because “I can’t do that because Biblically, I cannot find that is the way people are healed.”
He added: “If I go to the doctor, I am putting the doctor before God. I am not believing what he said he would do.”
Neumann, 47, is charged with second-degree reckless homicide in the March 23, 2003, death of his 11-year-old daughter, Madeline, from undiagnosed diabetes. Prosecutors say he should have taken the girl to a hospital because she couldn’t walk, talk, eat or speak.
Instead, Madeline died on the floor of the family’s rural Weston home as people surrounded her and prayed.
Her father was the last person to testify in his trial. Closing arguments are scheduled for Friday morning.
Neumann, who once studied to be a Pentecostal minister, preached to the jury about his faith in God’s healing powers and cried out like he was talking to the Lord. He said he has been a born-again Christian since 1982.
‘Who am I to predict death’?
Skepdude says: Bullshit! This is child abuse plain and simple. Both parents deserve jail time, long jail time!
WESTON, Wis. — Kara Neumann, 11, had grown so weak that she could not walk or speak. Her parents, who believe that God alone has the ability to heal the sick, prayed for her recovery but did not take her to a doctor.
After an aunt from California called the sheriff’s department here, frantically pleading that the sick child be rescued, an ambulance arrived at the Neumann’s rural home on the outskirts of Wausau and rushed Kara to the hospital. She was pronounced dead on arrival.
The county coroner ruled that she had died from diabetic ketoacidosis resulting from undiagnosed and untreated juvenile diabetes. The condition occurs when the body fails to produce insulin, which leads to severe dehydration and impairment of muscle, lung and heart function.
About a month after Kara’s death last March, the Marathon County state attorney, Jill Falstad, brought charges of reckless endangerment against her parents, Dale and Leilani Neumann. Despite the Neumanns’ claim that the charges violated their constitutional right to religious freedom, Judge Vincent Howard of Marathon County Circuit Court ordered Ms. Neumann to stand trial on May 14, and Mr. Neumann on June 23. If convicted, each faces up to 25 years in prison.
“The free exercise clause of the First Amendment protects religious belief,” the judge wrote in his ruling, “but not necessarily conduct.”