20/02/2014 09:31 GMT | Updated 20/02/2014 09:59 GMT

Faith-Healing Couple, Herbert And Catherine Schaible, Jailed For Second Child's Death

Catherine Schaible walks from the criminal justice center Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014, in Philadelphia. Herbert and Catherine Schaible who believed in faith-healing were sentenced Wednesday to 3.5 to seven years in prison in the death of a second child who was sick but didn't see a doctor. Philadelphia Common Pleas Judge Benjamin Lerner told Herbert and Catherine Schaible that it wasn't 8-month-old Brandon's time to die.(AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

A Philadelphia couple who believe in faith healing were sent to jail Wednesday for causing the death of their young, sick child by refusing to take him to the doctor.

It was the second of Herbert and Catherine Schaible’s children to die under their care.



Philadelphia Common Pleas Judge Benjamin Lerner told the parents that it was not eight-month-old Brandon's time to die.

"You've killed two of your children ... not God, not your church, not religious devotion - you," the judge said.

The Schaibles pleaded no contest to third-degree murder in Brandon's death last year from pneumonia.

They lost a first child in 2009, a two-year-old who died from pneumonia.

They were sentenced to ten years probation for involuntary manslaughter for that death. Part of their probation stated that they must seek medical care if another one of their children became sick.

Assistant District Attorney Joanne Pescatore said the case "haunts" her.

They are third-generation members of a small Pentecostal community, the First Century Gospel Church in northeast Philadelphia.

Both expressed remorse and apologised for violating a court order to seek medical care for their children after the 2009 death of a two-year-old son of untreated pneumonia.

The couple have seven surviving children.

Last year, Herbert Schaible told police that medicine "is against our religious beliefs".

He said: "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."

Their pastor, Nelson Clark, has said the Schaibles lost their sons because of a "spiritual lack" in their lives and insisted they would not seek medical care even if another child appeared near death.