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Attorney: Dale Neumann "devastated" by state Supreme Court ruling

Dale and Leilani Neumann
Dale and Leilani Neumann

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - His attorney says Dale Neumann is devastated by Wednesday’s State Supreme Court ruling, which upheld the criminal convictions of him and his wife in the prayer death of their daughter.

Attorney Steven Miller says Dale and Leilani Neumann of Weston are still mourning the loss of their 11-year-old daughter Kara. From the couple’s perspective, Miller said, “They felt like they were acting in a legal manner.”

Both Neumanns were found guilty in 2009 of second-degree reckless homicide, for using faith-healing instead of calling doctors when Kara’s diabetes got worse. She died on Easter Sunday of 2008.

The justices voted 6-1 Wednesday to uphold the Neumann’s separate convictions, saying the homicide law trumps the state’s faith-healing exception for child abuse cases.

Over a dozen states have legal protections for parents who choose prayer over healthcare for their kids – but the courts have struggled over how far those protections go.

Justice David Prosser says Wisconsin has the same legal confusion, and he says the Legislature needs to fix that. He was the lone dissenter in Wednesday’s decision.