Pa. couple face prison after second son dies despite faith-healing efforts

Pa. couple face prison after second son dies despite faith-healing efforts

A Pennsylvania couple who believe in faith-healing face 20 years or more in prison in the death of a second child who died without seeing a doctor.

Herbert and Catherine Schaible are being sentenced Wednesday in the death last year of their 8-month-old son, Brandon. At the time, they were under court orders to seek medical care for their children after their 2-year-old son, Kent, died of untreated pneumonia in 2009.

The Schaibles are third-generation members of a small Pentecostal community, the First Century Gospel Church in northeast Philadelphia.

A lawyer for Catherine Schaible, 44, plans to explore their religious beliefs at the sentencing. Her 45-year-old husband’s lawyer argues that no malice was involved.

The Schaibles have pleaded no contest to third-degree murder in Brandon’s death. They have seven surviving children.

‘‘We believe in divine healing, that Jesus shed blood for our healing and that he died on the cross to break the devil’s power,’’ Herbert Schaible said in a 2013 police statement. Medicine, he said, ‘‘is against our religious beliefs.’’

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