A fundamentalist Christian couple in Philadelphia violated their probation when another one of their children died after they chose faith-healing over medical attention.
Herbert and Catherine Schaible were serving 10 years probation after their toddler died in 2009 when they refused to take the sick child to a doctor. The couple believes in prayer over doctors.
Their 8-month-old son Brandon died last week after suffering breathing problems and diarrhea for days. Judge Benjamin Lerner found the couple in violation of their probation, which stipulated they would seek medical care for their remaining children after their 2-year-old son Kent died from pneumonia in 2009. The couple pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter in 2011 and received 10 years probation.
Authorities said the couple reported the death of their infant to a funeral home rather than calling 911. It is still unclear how Brandon died. His parents have not been charged with a crime. Once an autopsy reveals how his death occurred, that could change.
Judge Lerner ruled the couple was not a risk to their remaining children, who are currently cared for by three separate foster families. He did not believe the parents were a flight risk after the hearing.
Herbert Shaible’s attorney, Bobby Hoof, said his client was happy to avoid jail time after hearing the judge’s ruling.