Judge Allows Charges in Prayer Death Case

WAUSAU, Wis. (AP) - A Wisconsin judge has refused to dismiss reckless homicide charges against parents accused of praying
instead of seeking a doctor's care as their 11-year-old daughter

Marathon County Judge Vincent Howard's decision is expected to be appealed.

Dale and Leilani Neumann have pleaded not guilty to second-degree reckless homicide. Their attorneys wanted the charges dismissed on constitutional grounds.

The couple's daughter, Madeline, died of untreated diabetes at their home on Easter. Prosecutors say the girl likely had symptoms for weeks that should have prompted the parents to seek medical treatment.

At the heart of the dispute are two Wisconsin laws. One says it is not child abuse to treat illness through prayer alone. The second is a homicide law that makes no exception for prayer.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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