‘Faith-healing’ couple gets 3 1/2 to 7 years for second child’s death

Herbert and Catherine Schaible leave court in May 2013.
Herbert and Catherine Schaible leave court in May 2013. Credit: Metro File Photos

Herbert and Catherine Schaible were sentenced Wednesday to three-and-a-half to seven years in prison on third degree murder charges for the April 2013 death of their son Brandon.

The Schaibles prayed over their son as he slowly died from bacterial pneumonia. They were previously convicted and sentenced to probation in 2011 for the death of their 2-year-old son Kent, also from bacterial pneumonia.

“All it would’ve taken was a 911 call,” said assistant district attorney Joanne Pescatore at the sentencing hearing.

“Everybody in the system failed these children,” Pescatore said, her voice choked with emotion. “It was so forseeable to me that this was going to happen.”

Pescatore prosecuted the Schaibles after Kent died and said she pleaded with the Department of Human Services to investigate the welfare of their children because she believed they would let another child die.

“It was right there in the pre-sentencing notes,” Pescatore said, reading from a past interview with Catherine in 201. “Asked if she would do the same thing again, she said she was not sure as she would have to give up her beliefs.”

Defense attorneys claimed the Schaibles were good parents.

“When I think of Catherine Schaible, two words jump out at me: devotion and commitment,” said defense lawyer Mythri Jayaraman.

But Jayaraman also said that after defending Catherine in 2010, she agreed with Pescatore and asked Judge Carolyn Temin, who heard that case, to intervene in the Schaible’s home due to concerns about the welfare of their children.

“We both pled with Judge Temin to find a way to maintain DHS control of the family,” Jayaraman said. “She is no longer a danger, because what we requested years ago is in place.”

The Schaibles’ six other minor children who are all currently in foster care.

Herbert’s lawyer, Bobby Hoof, called Braden’s death “a crime of omission rather than commission” and described his client as a “family man.”

“I would change places with them in an instant if I could,” Herbert Schaible said of his two dead sons before being sentenced.

Catherine Schaible said she would “accept whatever the court decides.”

Commonwealth Court Judge Benjamin Lerner said his sentence was intended to prevent them from ever making medical decisions for one of their children again.

“You’ve killed two of your children,” Lerner said. “It wasn’t the lord who decided to take him [Brandon]. You two took him. That’s why he’s not celebrating any more of his birthdays.”

The Schaibles are life-long members of First Century Gospel Church in Juniata Park.

Lerner granted a defense request that Catherine Schaible will remain free on bail until March 14 so she can be present for her daughter’s 11th birthday with Pescatore’s support.


Follow Sam Newhouse on Twitter: @scnewhouse

Follow Metro Philadelphia on Twitter: @metrophilly

Follow Metro Philadelphia on Facebook: Metro Philadelphia


Mutant worms stay sober, even on alcohol

U.S. researchers have developed "mutant worms" that do not get drunk by alcohol, a breakthrough that could lead to new treatment for people trying to quit drinking


K-9 nose helps capture $150K in cocaine at…

A furry, four-legged security agent helped authorities stop an illegal cocaine shipment from sneaking past JFK customs.


Minnesota man asked to leave Southwest flight after…

A man and his two sons were asked to leave a Southwest Airlines flight after the man sent a tweet complaining about being treated rudely by a gate agent.


Man sues hospital after surprise penis amputation

An Alabama man who went in to a hospital last month for a circumcision awoke after surgery to find his penis had been amputated, his lawyer said on Thursday.


Review: Brett Ratner's big 'Hercules' movie is small…

The latest "Hercules," starring Dwayne Johnson as the half-god beefcake of Greek myth, strips its hero and tale of most of its fantastical elements.


Scientists recreate world's smallest Monet copy

Scientists have reproduced a famous Impressionist painting using nano-printing, to create what has been described as the world's smallest work of art. Reworked at the…


Jerry Seinfeld is ambidextrous, and other Reddit AMA…

See some of the weirder highlights of Jerry Seinfeld's recent Reddit AMA.

Going Out

Grab a pedestrian and start dancing at What…

As a New Yorker, I’ve mastered the art of focusing my gaze straight ahead. Though it occasionally piques my interest, the absurdities that play out…

U.S. Soccer

Orlando City takes shot at NYCFC over Frank…

Orlando City reminded the world how big a signing Brazilian star Kaka earlier this month with a photo of Kaka mobbed by fans juxtaposed against Lampard.


Jeremy Lin says 'Linsanity' is over as he…

Jeremy Lin lit up the NBA two years ago with his play for the Knicks but he has no desire to recreate "Linsanity" in his new career with the Lakers.


2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player…

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player rankings

U.S. Soccer

NYCFC announce signing of Frank Lampard

The tease of a big signing Thursday by new MLS side NYCFC ended up being one rumored for weeks. England midfielder Frank Lampard agreed to…


Forget Wi-Fi: Li-Fi could be the future

Li-Fi technology – developed by Mexican company Sisoft – is wireless internet connectivity using specialized LED light.


Weather app Climendo might be the most accurate…

The wait for a truly accurate weather forecast could finally be over thanks to a nifty new app called Climendo.


Napkin Table puts focus off the phone and…

Michael Jan, a design student at Tunghai University in Taiwan, has invented a serviette-picnic blanket hybrid called the Napkin Table.


Essie's new Color Boutique

Essie launches high-tech kiosks at major airports and malls across the country.