By Tony Hanson
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A prayer healing couple from Northeast Philadelphia was found guilty of third-degree murder today after pleading “no contest” to the death of their child earlier this year.
It was the second time a child of Herbert and Catherine Schaible had died while in their custody.
Philadelphia prosecutor Joanne Pescatore says the Schaibles admitted in statements that they prayed over their seven-month-old son, Brandon, for at least several days last April but did not seek medical care as he slowly died from dehydration and pneumonia.
“I can’t even imagine, being a mother myself, what was happening,” Pescatore said after the court proceeding, “the sheer pain and the stress that that child was in. When a parent can actually say that his breathing was worsening and he was fussy and whiny and crying and still, at that point, not calling anyone for help, it’s just unbelievable to me — and totally forseeable (that he died).”
At the time, the couple was on probation for the 2009 manslaughter death of a two-year-old son under similar circumstances, and under court order to seek medical care if any of their children got sick.
Sentencing in the latest case is set for February.