Death of 8-month-old son of Phila. couple who shun medicine ruled homicide


(CBS/AP) PHILADELPHIA - The death of an 8-month-old child whose parents believe in healing by prayer has been ruled a homicide by the Philadelphia medical examiner, according to CBS Philly.

Brandon Schaible, infant son of Herbert and Catherine Schaible, reportedly died on April 18th from dehydration and bacterial pneumonia stemming from a streptococcus infection.

The Schaibles have worked as teachers at their fundamentalist church, the First Century Gospel Church in Philadelphia. They don't believe in medical help and pray for healing instead, according to CBS Philly.

The station reported the couple was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in 2009 for the death of their 2-year-old. That child also died of pneumonia and the parents were sentenced to 10 years probation.

According to, after 8-month-old Brandon died, the couple called a funeral home where staff members immediately called the medical examiner's office.

The site reports that the Schaibles remain free but they are scheduled for another probation hearing June 14. They could face 5-10 years in prison for violating their probation in addition to criminal charges. 

The couple's seven surviving children have been placed in foster care.

Complete coverage of the Schaibles case on Crimesider