A couple guilty in the 2nd prayer death of their 8-month-old son, Brandon, was sentenced this week to 3-7 years behind bars for only believing in faith healing when their son had a serious case of pneumonia. Both parents, Herbert and Catherine Schaible, said that their religious beliefs prevented them from seeking out medical care to cure their sick child. Yahoo! News reveals this Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014, that this isn’t the first time such a tragic incident happened in their household, either, as their 2-year-old son died back in 2009 for similar reasons.
The 2nd prayer death of the Schaible family is only more tragic because the death of their 8-month-old son could likely have been avoided, say health experts in this sad case. The couple, who firmly follows faith healing practices only, was found guilty in a court of law today for never bringing their child, Brandon, to a doctor when he was suffering from a severe bout of pneumonia. Both parents have been sentenced to 3-7 years in prison for the neglectful crime.
A court order was given to the Schaible parents back in 2011, commanding them that they must seek out approved medical care in the case that their children grow unwell after their 2-year-old son — named Kent — passed away from illness back in 2009. Instead of following the order, the couple ignored the warning, and continued their faith healing practices early last year after Brandon, their 8-month-old son, grew sick. However, he too died of what should have been a treatable case of pneumonia in this 2nd prayer death.
Catherine Schaible offered a statement in court today that her religious beliefs prevented her from getting medical help for her sick child, but she understands that she must be punished for the sad crime.
"My religious beliefs are that you should pray, and not have to use medicine. But because it is against the law, then whatever sentence you give me, I will accept," Catherine Schaible, 44, told the judge.
Both parents involved in this crime are third generation family members part of an insular Pentecostal community from Philadelphia, known as the First Century Gospel Church. After the passing away of their two sons, the Schaibles now have seven remaining children.
A judge was firm in rejecting all defense claims from the couple that their religious beliefs were in “opposition” to the 2011 court order that the parents get annual checkups for their children, and take them to a doctor should they become sick. The court order arrived after a legal jury found the Schaible parents guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the death of 2-year-old Kent.
Back then, the couple faced 10 years of probation. Now, they are charged with 3-7 years behind bars for this 2nd prayer death after being found guilty once again.
"April of 2013 wasn't Brandon's time to die," argued the judge, noting the violence committed throughout human history in the name of religion. "You've killed two of your children. ... Not God. Not your church. Not religious devotion — you."