Saturday, May 16, 2009

"Dragged Out and Miserable"

The trial for Leilani Neumann started today, with a bit of excitement. From WSAW-TV:

ADA LaMont Jacobson delivered the opening statement. It was halted for nearly 45 minutes after the defendant apparently fainted in the court room.

Jacobson was giving the prosecutions opening statement at the time. He was detailing the last days of Kara Neumann's life when Leilani Neumann collapsed.

Her attorney, Gene Linehan told the judge Neumann suffered a complete emotional and mental breakdown.

The judge ordered security to call 911.

About a half hour later, Neumann was brought back into the courtroom in a wheelchair.

Her attorney told the judge medical officials from the ambulance checked her blood pressure and checked her heart and she is now ready to proceed.

She was removed from the wheelchair and placed in a regular chair before the jury returned and court resumed.

I don't know, but that sounds a bit off. Was it really a breakdown? If so, it was an amazing recovery. Was it a bit of courtroom dramatics to elicit the sympathy of the jury? That's always possible. Most likely it was just a guilty conscience and anxiety as she realized that she killed her daughter and now she is up the creek without a prayer paddle.

But there are two other points of interest.

The first is compare how objective the above reporting is compared to the opinionated reporting from JSOnline (via Illy-T):
Marathon County Circuit Court Judge Vincent Howard's order was particularly ironic — directing medical attention for a woman on trial for refusing to do that for her dying daughter.
The other point is just think about what poor Kara Neumann went through:

Before the statement was interrupted, Jacobson told the jury the trial is not about a parent's right to raise a child as they see fit, nor is it about anyone's right to pray.

He says it's about Kara Neumann's needless suffering and death.

He also said her sister told authorities Kara was so weak she couldn't walk or talk, only being able to grunt the last couple days of her life.

After the delay, Jacobson detailed how many people told the Neumanns their daughter needed medical attention, but they refused, saying her condition was a test of faith.

Afterward, Jacobson says an aunt in California finally called the Marathon County sheriff's department to send help. When authorities arrived, the girl was already not breathing.

Jacobson told the jury forensic tests showed the girl died of untreated diabetes and that she had a chance to survive right up until the time 911 was called the day she died.

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