MADISON, Wis.— A mother and father who prayed instead of seeking medical help as their daughter died in front of them were properly convicted of homicide, the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled Wednesday.
Eleven-year-old Madeline Kara Neumann died of undiagnosed diabetes on Easter Sunday in March 2008 at home in the central Wisconsin village of Weston. Prosecutors said her parents, Dale and Leilani Neumann, ignored obvious symptoms of severe illness as Kara became too weak to speak, eat, drink or walk, choosing to pray rather than take her to a doctor.
The Supreme Court’s decision said the Neumanns don’t belong to any organized church but believe visiting a doctor amounts to worshipping an idol rather than God.
As Kara’s condition worsened they resisted suggestions from her grandmother to take her to a doctor. Kara’s grandfather suggested giving her Pedialyte, a supplement used to combat dehydration in children, but Leilani Neumann said that would take the glory away from God.
Dale Neumann testified that the possibility of death never entered their minds. After she died, Leilani Neumann told police God would raise Kara from the dead.