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Judge: Faith-healing couple must be tried for murder

Brandon Schaible, 8 months, died of pneumonia in April after his parents prayed for him instead of seeking medical care.

THE RHAWNHURST faith-healing couple charged with causing the death of their sick baby by praying for him instead of taking him to a doctor will stand trial for murder, a judge affirmed yesterday.

In separate hearings, attorneys for Herbert and Catherine Schaible asked that third-degree murder charges be dropped for lack of evidence.

But Common Pleas Judge Benjamin Lerner concluded that the District Attorney's Office had ample evidence and rejected those requests, saying, "We've been here before" and, "This is not a close case."

The Schaible's 8-month old son, Brandon, died April 18 of bacterial pneumonia after showing signs of sickness for three days.

The couple told police they prayed for the child because their fundamental Christian church does not believe in modern medicine. The Schaibles were convicted of involuntary manslaughter and given 10 years' probation in 2011 for the death of another son, Kent, 2, who died at home in 2009 of the same sickness.

Part of their sentences required the couple to take their surviving seven children for regular and as-needed doctor appointments.