Couple spared prison for sick son's death

Feb. 2, 2011 at 3:21 PM
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PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 2 (UPI) -- A Philadelphia couple who belong to a faith-healing church were sentenced Wednesday to 10 years probation for their son's death from pneumonia.

Herbert and Catherine Schaible were spared prison after being convicted of involuntary manslaughter in December, KYW-TV, Philadelphia, reported. Common Pleas Judge Carolyn Engle Temin ordered them to get medical care for their seven surviving children.

Kent Schaible, 2, died of bacterial pneumonia in January 2009 while his parents prayed for him. The Schaibles belong to the First Century Gospel Church, which preaches that trust in God demands avoiding doctors, drugs and medical procedures.

"I think the judge clearly stated it, and pretty succinctly," Assistant District Attorney Joanne Pescatore said after the sentencing. "She said that no matter what your religious freedom is, the welfare of your child trumps that, and it's more important than that in the Commonwealth and the United States. Your children come before your religion."

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