A man accused of causing the death of his 11-year-old diabetic daughter by praying instead of seeking medical care has been found guilty of second-degree reckless homicide.
Dale Neumann (aged 47) was convicted of the March 23, 2008, death of his daughter, Madeline, from undiagnosed diabetes.
Prosecutors argued he should have rushed the girl to a hospital because she could not walk, talk, eat or drink. Instead, Madeline died on the floor of the family’s rural home as people surrounded her and prayed. Someone called an ambulance when she stopped breathing.
Neumann stared at the jury as the verdict was read out yesterday in the courtroom in Wausau, Wisconsin.
Defence lawyer Jay Kronenwetter said the verdict would be appealed.
Neumann, who once studied to be a Pentecostal minister, testified that he believed God would heal his daughter and he never expected her to die. God promises in the Bible to heal, he said.
“If I go to the doctor, I am putting the doctor before God,” Neumann testified. “I am not believing what he said he would do.”
The father testified that he thought Madeline had the flu or a fever, and several relatives and family friends said they also did not realise how ill she was.
Leilani Neumann (aged 41) was convicted of the same charge in the spring. Marathon County Circuit Judge Vincent Howard set October 6 for sentencing for both parents, who face up to 25 years in prison.
Their case is believed to be the first in the Midwestern state of Wisconsin involving faith healing in which someone died and another person was charged with a homicide.
Last month, a jury in the western state of Oregon convicted a man of criminal mistreatment for relying on prayer instead of seeking medical care for his 15-month-old daughter, who died of pneumonia and a blood infection in March 2008.
Both the girl’s parents were acquitted of a more serious manslaughter charge.