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"Prayer death" parents request new trial

The central Wisconsin man convicted in the so-called "prayer death" case was back in court yesterday asking for a new trial. Dale Neumann -- and his wife Leilani -- were convicted separately for using faith healing instead of a doctor as their 11-year-old daughter Madeline Kara, died from diabetes.

During Dale Neumann's trial in 2008, he never apologized for using prayer instead of modern medicine as his daughter slipped into a diabetic coma and died. Neumann was outspoken on the witness stand, telling the jury that prayer alone could have saved his daughter.

More than two years later, Dale Neuman was back in court. This time he sat quietly as his new attorney, Steve Miller, accused trial attorney Jay Kronenwetter of making mistakes.

Miller says Kronenwetter failed to adequately present or preserve a faith healing defense, regarding it a "failure to object" to the trial court's religion instructions. Miller said Kronenwetter should have clearly objected to Judge Vincent Howard's instructions to the jury when he told them that freedom of religion protected Dale Neumann's beliefs but not his conduct.

Kronenwetter agreed with Miller on a second point, that Dale Neumann's jurors should not have known that his wife Leilani had been convicted earlier on the same charges. Attorneys for Leilani Neumann asked for a new trial last week.

Judge Vincent Howard is expected to rule on her request and Dale's request in mid-April.