Rhawnhurst couple charged in murder of a second son

Her­bert and Cath­er­ine Schaible are charged with third-de­gree murder in the death of their 7-month-old son, Brandon. Pro­sec­utors say the couple be­longs to a faith-heal­ing church and prayed over their son when he be­came ill in­stead of seek­ing med­ic­al at­ten­tion for him.

A Rawnhurst couple, who pro­sec­utors said prayed over their sick 7-month-old son in­stead of seek­ing med­ic­al at­ten­tion for him, were  charged today with third-de­gree murder in his death.

It was the second time that Her­bert and Cath­er­ine Schaible have been charged in the death of one of their chil­dren. They were con­victed of in­vol­un­tary man­slaughter and sen­tenced to 10 years pro­ba­tion in the death of an­oth­er son, Kent, who died in 2009. Both chil­dren had bac­teri­al pneu­mo­nia.

The charges filed Wed­nes­day in­volved the death of Brandon, who died on April 18.

Pro­sec­utors said the Schaibles at­ten­ded a church that be­lieved in faith heal­ing. In pre­vi­ous art­icles in the North­east Times, the Schaibles were re­por­ted to be  mem­bers of First Cen­tury Gos­pel Church.

As part of their pro­ba­tion in Kent’s death, they were re­quired to seek med­ic­al at­ten­tion for their oth­er chil­dren. There are now sev­en sib­lings, all of whom have been placed in foster care, pro­sec­utors said.

“The death of 7-month-old Brandon Schaible is a tragedy,” said Dis­trict At­tor­ney R. Seth Wil­li­ams at a Wed­nes­day press con­fer­ence. “Sadly, there is only one reas­on for it — the crim­in­al ac­tions of the par­ents.”

“In­stead of caring for and nur­tur­ing him they ul­ti­mately caused his death by pray­ing over his body in­stead of tak­ing him to the doc­tor,” Wil­li­ams said.

He said the third-de­gree murder charge was ap­pro­pri­ate be­cause of what happened to Kent Schaible.

Third-de­gree murder car­ries a max­im­um pris­on sen­tence of 40 years. The couple is also charged with in­vol­un­tary man­slaughter, con­spir­acy and en­dan­ger­ing the wel­fare of a child.

Pro­sec­utors said they seek to have the pro­ba­tion for the Schaibles re­voked. The pair had not yet been pro­cessed by of­fi­cials as of Wed­nes­day af­ter­noon. ••

You can reach at dwarner@bsmphilly.com.

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