Herbert and Catherine Schaible will go to trial in the death of their infant son; a judge last week rejected their bid to have the most serious charges dismissed.
Common Pleas Court Judge Benjamin Lerner on Aug. 7 kept intact the charges of third-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter against the Schaibles, of 2229 Rhawn St. in Rhawnhurst. The couple also are charged with endangering the welfare of a child and criminal conspiracy.
Herbert Schaible, 45, remains in jail with bail set at $250,000 bail. His wife, 44, posted bail in late June. She is on electronically monitored house arrest. No trial date has been set.
The couple’s seven children - four boys and three girls - are in the custody of the city Department of Human Services.
Brandon Scott Schaible was just 7 months old when he died at home on April 18.
Before passing, he had diarrhea and was vomiting, irritable, restless and fussy, according to testimony at his parents’ June 12 preliminary hearing.
Testimony also showed that he had a decreased appetite and was crying and having trouble sleeping and breathing, but his parents did not give him medication or take him to a doctor.
Instead, as lifetime members of First Century Gospel Church, at 4557 G St. in Juniata Park, they prayed for their son’s healing and called a church pastor to come to their home to pray for the sick child. They also rocked him on a living room recliner.
At the preliminary hearing, Dr. Gary Collins, a city deputy chief medical examiner who performed an autopsy on Brandon, testified that he had a sunken eye socket, dry lips and a rash on his scalp. He had no wounds or traumatic injuries, was not coughing and did not have a fever. He ruled that the boy died of bacterial pneumonia in combination with dehydration.
Collins testified that Brandon could have lived if he had been given antibiotics and fluids.
Brandon is the second child in the family to die. In January 2009, 2-year-old Kent Schaible died of bacterial pneumonia after developing a cold that included congestion and a sore throat.
After Kent’s death, the Schaibles were convicted of involuntary manslaughter and endangering the welfare of a child. They were sentenced to 10 years probation.
As part of the sentence, they were ordered to take their other children to a medical practitioner when they are sick.
Cross-examination by the Schaibles’ attorneys at the preliminary hearing seemed to indicate that one line of defense at trial will be that the couple did not know how seriously ill their son was.
All of the attorneys from the Kent Schaible case are back in the courtroom for the current proceedings. Joanne Pescatore is the prosecutor. Bobby Hoof is representing Herbert Schaible. Mythri Jayaraman represents Catherine Schaible. ••