For the second time in four years, Herbert and Catherine Schaible let one of their children die of a treatable illness. Today, they were both sentenced to 3-7 years in prison followed by 30 months of probation.
Philadelphia Common Pleas Judge Benjamin Lerner spoke to the Schaibles as he handed down their sentences.
"You've killed two of your children," he said. "Not God, not your church, not religious devotion -- you."
“We believe in divine healing, that Jesus shed blood for our healing and that he died on the cross to break the devil’s power,” Hebert Schaible said in a 2013 statement. Medicine, Schaible said, “is against our religious beliefs.”
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In 2009, the family’s two-year-old son, Kent, died of untreated pneumonia. Following Kent’s death, a Pennsylvania judge put the Schaibles on parole. One of the terms of their parole was that they must seek medical attention if their children get sick.
In 2013, their 8-month-old son, Brandon, fell ill. They did not seek out medical attention, and Brandon died. Upon discovering Brandon’s death, authorities charged the Schaibles with third-degree murder.
Following Brandon’s death, a furious judge told the Schaibles that Brandon’s death sounded “eerily similar” to Kent’s.
The Schaibles' pastor, meanwhile, said their children keep dying because of a “spiritual lack” in their lives. He insisted the family would not seek medical attention even if another one of their children fell ill.
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This shouldn't be a problem anytime soon, as the Schaible parents are now in prison. Their six surviving children have been placed in foster care.