US 'faith healers' sentenced in second baby's death

image copyrightAP
image captionCatherine (left) and Herbert Schaible are third-generation members of a small Pentecostal community who believe in God's power to heal

A Pennsylvania couple said to reject medicine in favour of faith healing have been sentenced to up to seven years in prison in the second death of one of their children from illness.

Herbert and Catherine Schaible were convicted of withholding medical care from seven-month-old Brandon, who died of pneumonia and dehydration in April.

Another son, Kent, died under similar circumstances in 2009 at age two.

The couple had been ordered to seek medical care for their sick children.

'Killed your children'

The Schaibles were sentenced to three to seven years in prison in a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, court on Wednesday.

"You've killed two of your children," Philadelphia Common Pleas Judge Benjamin Lerner told the couple, the Associated Press reported. "Not God, not your church, not religious devotion... you."

The Schaibles, third-generation members of a small Pentecostal community, had pleaded no contest to charges against them in Brandon's death.

Both apologised for violating a previous court order to seek medical care for their children following son Kent's death.

They were convicted of involuntary manslaughter and child endangerment in his death.

Like Brandon, Kent died from bacterial pneumonia. His parents had prayed for him but did not call a doctor.

The couple told police after Brandon's death they did not seek medical help because they believed in God's power to heal.

The Schaibles' six surviving minor children have been placed in foster care.

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