A couple who watched their daughter die as they prayed for her to
get better - instead of getting medical help - have been jailed.
Madeline Neumann, 11, died on the floor while her parents Dale, 47,
and Leilani, 41, surrounded her with members of a prayer group.
The little girl had become so weak she could no longer eat, speak, drink or walk.
The parents, from Wisconsin, America, were each sentenced to six
months in jail after being convicted of second-degree reckless homicide.
They could have been given up to 25 years in prison for the March
2008 death of Madeline, who died of an undiagnosed but treatable form
Marathon County Circuit Court Judge Vincent Howard, sentencing, said
the Neumanns were "very good people raising their family, who made a
bad decision, a reckless decision".
"God probably works through other people, some of them doctors," the judge told the couple.
Prosecutors argued the Neumanns recklessly killed the youngest of
their four children by ignoring obvious symptoms of severe illness.
They said the couple had a legal duty to take their daughter to a doctor, but relied totally on prayer for healing.
The girl, known as Kara, passed away at the family's rural Weston
home. One of the prayer group called 911 after she stopped breathing.
"We are here today because, to some, you made Kara a martyr to your faith," the judge told the parents.
In videotaped interviews with police, the couple said they believed
healing came from God and that they never expected their daughter to
Leilani Neumann said: "I do not regret trusting truly in the Lord
for my daughter's health. Did we know she had a fatal illness? No. Did
we act to the best of our knowledge? Yes."
The judge ordered the couple to serve one month in jail each year
for six years, so they can "think about Kara and what God wants you to
learn from this".