Northeast Times

Parents will be tried in infant’s death

  • Herbert Schaible

  • Catherine Schaible

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. ••

You can reach at twaring@bsmphilly.com.

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