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Couple held after second child dies in ‘faith-healing’

PHILADELPHIA, May 24 (UPI) — A Philadelphia judge ordered a couple detained because others might “harbor” them from prosecution for the death of their baby after he was denied medical care.

Catherine and Herbert Schaible were arrested Wednesday on charges of third-degree murder for denying medical treatment for their 8-month-old son, Brandon, who died in April of bacterial pneumonia, dehydration and strep, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

The couple — members of The First Century Gospel Church in Northeast Philadelphia — prayed for their son for four days before he died. They were on probation at the time in the 2009 death of their 2-year-old son, Kent, under similar circumstances, and were under court order to provide medical care for their children.

Common Pleas Judge Benjamin Lerner Friday denied a request by the couple’s attorney to allow them to remain free until a preliminary hearing set for June. The attorney argued the Schaibles are “law-abiding” and pose no threat to society, and said their seven surviving children are safe.

Lerner said he was concerned the Schaibles “may find communities in the country, or outside the country, who might want to protect them.”

“And by protect them, you mean harbor them?” said Catherine Schaible’s attorney, Mythri Jayaraman.

“Yes,” Lerner said.

The judge said the couple will still be permitted supervised visits with their children — who are in foster care — for 2 hours twice a week.

Copyright 2013 United Press International, Inc. (UPI).

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