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. ••