Couple Sentenced for Praying Instead of Seeking Medical Care for Toddler’s Pneumonia

February 2, 2011 - 1:20 PM
Philly Couple Who Prayed over Dying Tot Sentenced

Philadelphia (AP) - A fundamentalist Christian couple who tried relying on prayer to cure their dying toddler must take their remaining children for medical check-ups as part of their sentence in the boy's death.

A Philadelphia judge also sentenced Herbert and Catherine Schaible to 10 years of probation Wednesday. They were convicted in December of involuntary manslaughter and child endangerment in the pneumonia death of their 2-year-old son, Kent.

Prosecutors argued adults can choose to forgo medical care for themselves, but not for their children. Defense lawyers said the parents did not know how sick Kent was before his death in January 2009.

Experts say about a dozen U.S. children die in faith-healing cases each year.

The Schaibles belong to First Century Gospel Church in Philadelphia. They have seven other children.