Appeals Court Upholds Sentence in Child's Faith-Healing Death

An appeals court has upheld the 3½- to seven-year sentences imposed on a Philadelphia couple in the death of a second child who never saw a doctor despite being stricken with pneumonia.

Forty-seven-year-old Herbert Schaible and 46-year-old Catherine Schaible, who believed in faith healing, pleaded no contest to third-degree murder last year.

Prosecutors said they defied a court order to get medical care for their children after their 2-year-old son, Kent, died in 2009. Instead, authorities said, they tried to comfort and pray over 8-month-old Brandon in 2013 as he, too, died of treatable pneumonia.

Philadelphia prosecutors sought terms of eight to 16 years and challenged the sentence as too lenient, but a three-judge Superior Court panel ruled that the term was within the judge's discretion.