3:56 p.m. [Judge Vincent K.] Howard said there is one God ...Well, there's your official government endorsement of monotheism. Fortunately the defendants are not Germanic Neopagans. Or atheists. We shall decline from quibbling with Trinitarianism at the moment.
... but people hear many different voices from that God.Or else just hear voices, period. In their heads. Like the Neumanns.
4:31 p.m. [Judge] Howard has just recommended a withheld sentence and 10 years of probation with conditions.A withheld sentence, even more lenient than I had predicted. Straight probation, basically, for causing the death of a human being.
Mitigating circumstances: Being a far gone stone religious fanatic.
Those may be the lightest Class D felony sentences in State history. Now go, and cause the death of your helpless children no more. Standing by for lots and lots of people flipping out in 3 ... 2 ... 1 ...
There's no way they're going to prison today.* They'll get an imposed and stayed prison term, with a lengthy period of probation. And I doubt they'll get the conditional jail time the State will recommend.
Expect to hear a lot of "sincerely held religious beliefs" business from the defense counsel (a legitimate argument, in my view, although it shouldn't be available as a matter of law, especially when those beliefs are as wildly delusional as those of these two defendants).
However, I also doubt the judge will be much impressed with the Neumanns' defiance in the face of the proceedings against them.
They will likely endure a stern tongue-lashing for that. A small price for walking out of the courthouse onto the street a bit later on.
By the way, the Daily Herald has done a fine job covering this case. It's not often that a newspaper live-blogs a sentencing hearing.
* They're both looking at 25 years for the death of their daughter, the cause of which was either Diabetes mellitus Type 1, or the Neumanns, depending on whether you ask a doctor or a lawyer.