12 May 2008

Judge: Father in faith-healing case too poor to hire attorney

Wausau Daily Herald - May 8, 2008

by Jeff Starck

Marathon County taxpayers will foot the legal bills for a town of Weston man accused of recklessly causing his 11-year-old daughter's death by praying instead of taking her to a doctor.

Circuit Court Judge Vincent Howard appointed Wausau attorney Jay Kronenwetter to represent Dale Neumann at the county's expense, even though Neumann and his wife own two homes valued at half a million dollars.

Kronenwetter, who has yet to accept the appointment, was recommended by attorney Gene Linehan. Linehan represented Dale Neumann, 46, and his wife, Leilani, 40, on Wednesday and at the couple's initial court appearance last week.

The Neumanns each face a second-degree reckless homicide charge in the March 23 death of their daughter Madeline Kara Neumann.

Dale Neumann said in a hearing Wednesday that although he and his wife own the two Weston-area homes, they have little more than $100 in savings and cannot afford to make their loan payments.

Linehan, who will continue to represent Leilani Neumann, said each of the cases likely will cost $100,000 in legal fees and might rack up more expenses if the cases end up in the state appeals and Supreme courts.

"I am willing to jeopardize my financial future because I believe that much in this case," said Linehan, who said he probably will go bankrupt as a result of his involvement.

Linehan said he chose not to confiscate the couple's two vehicles to help pay for his services. The couple so far has received $4,000 in donations for legal fees, he said.

Dale and Leilani Neumann are free on signature bonds of $200,000 each along with a $50,000 property bond.

Kara, 11, died Easter Sunday from complications of undiagnosed diabetes. Her parents, who told police they did not know she had diabetes, chose to pray instead of seeking medical help as their daughter grew progressively ill.

Marathon County Corporation Counsel Scott Corbett said the Neumanns have about $110,000 of equity in their real estate property, $50,000 of which is accounted for by the court-ordered property bond. Howard ordered an additional $50,000 lien placed against their equity at Corbett's request.

Dale Neumann testified that the couple bought one home in Weston nearly three years ago for $290,000 and then a different home for $310,500. Neither he nor his wife made income in 2007 from a coffee shop they owned and operated in Weston, he said.

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  1. The YMCA World Class Schools International Mock Trials will be debating this case next September.

    Let us wait and see what our students think of the misdemeanor.

  2. There are many more recent articles in this blog about that case. Here is the link to the most recent one http://religiouschildabuse.blogspot.com/2011/05/faith-healing-parents-convicted-of.html

    Also see the Related Articles section at the end of that article for many more articles on faith healing endangering the lives of children.