PHILADELPHIA (AP) — After their 2-year-old son died of untreated pneumonia in 2009, faith-healing advocates Herbert and Catherine Schaible promised a judge they would not let another sick child go without medical care.
But now they've lost an 8-month-old to what a prosecutor called "eerily similar" circumstances. And instead of another involuntary manslaughter charge, they're now charged with third-degree murder.
"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, 44, told Philadelphia homicide detectives after their ninth child, Brandon, died in April. Medicine, he said, "is against our religious beliefs."
The Schaibles were ordered held without bail today, two days after their arrest, although defense lawyers argued that they are neither a flight risk nor a danger to the community.
"He is incarcerated because of his faith," said lawyer Bobby Hoof, who described client Herbert Schaible's mindset as resolute.
"He's strong willed," Hoof said. "[Yet] he's mourning this son. He's hurting as any dad would."
The only people theoretically at risk are the couple's seven surviving children, who are now in foster care, the lawyers said.