Philly Couple Pleads in 2nd Child's Faith-Healing Death

Friday, Nov 15, 2013  |  Updated 1:32 PM EDT
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Faith-healing couple Herbert and Catherine Schaible pleaded no contest to murder after their 8-month-old son Brandon died. He is the second child in the family to die after the couple opted to pray for healing rather than seek medical help.

NBC10.com

Faith-healing couple Herbert and Catherine Schaible pleaded no contest to murder after their 8-month-old son Brandon died. He is the second child in the family to die after the couple opted to pray for healing rather than seek medical help.

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A Philadelphia man and woman who believe in relying on prayer rather than medicine have pleaded no contest to third-degree murder in the death of their infant son.

Forty-five-year-old Herbert Schaible and 44-year-old Catherine Schaible were each convicted after entering the pleas Thursday.

Prosecutors said 8-month-old Brandon died in April after receiving no treatment for pneumonia. His parents were serving 10 years' probation on involuntary manslaughter convictions in the 2009 death of another son, 2-year-old Kent. As part of that probation, the Schaibles were required to seek immediate help if another child was sick or injured. But prosecutors say they instead prayed over Brandon.

The Schaibles are both third-generation members of the First Century Gospel Church in northeast Philadelphia. They have seven other children.

The couple's defense attorney says the no contest plea will enable Catherine Schaible to further explain their religious beliefs before they are sentenced in February.

Assistant District Attorney Joanne Pescatore told The Philadelphia Inquirer that there was no plea agreement on the terms she will recommend when the two are sentenced.

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