Thursday, May 21, 2009

Sick girl's mom said she expected `divine healing'

WAUSAU, Wis. – Just hours after an 11-year-old girl died of untreated diabetes, her mother told police she never considered taking her tired, pale and skinny daughter to a doctor for what she believed was a spiritual attack.

Leilani Neumann said in a videotaped interview played Wednesday at her trial that the Lord was going to take care of her daughter and all she needed was prayer.

"It did scare me with her being cold," Neumann told an Everest Metro Police Department detective. "I just believed the Lord is going to heal her. I never thought she was close to death. ... It was just like this all happened so suddenly. She just looked skinny all of a sudden."

Neumann, 41, is on trial for second-degree reckless homicide for praying instead of seeking medical care for Madeline, who died March 23, 2008, at their Weston home. Her husband also has been charged and will be tried in July.

Prosecutors contend a reasonable parent would have known something was gravely wrong with Madeline but that her mother prayed and ignored obvious symptoms of poor health instead of rushing her to a doctor. If convicted, Neumann faces up to 25 years in prison....

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