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DOJ attorney: Dale, Leilani Neumann caused daughter's death by praying

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Dale and Leilani Neumann
Dale and Leilani Neumann

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - A state Justice Department attorney told the Supreme Court Tuesday that Dale and Leilani Neumann caused the death of their daughter, while praying that she’d be cured.

Assistant attorney general Maura Whelan asked the justices to preserve the 2009 convictions of the Wausau area couple, who prayed instead of getting medical care for their dying diabetic daughter.

11-year-old Kara Neumann died on Easter Sunday of 2008, after getting a form of diabetes that doctors said could have been treated.

Her parents have asked that their second-degree homicide convictions be dropped, claiming that state law is not clear on when a disorder because serious enough to seek a doctor’s assistance.

If the justices side with the Neumanns, it would be the first time the state’s highest court addressed the issue of faith-healing – and how far it can legally go.

Whelan said praying parents cannot be charged with child abuse – but their religious immunity does not apply when a child dies. 

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