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The church’s pastor said in 2010 that the couple had never received medical care themselves beyond the help of a lay midwife who attends home births.

The Schaibles did take their children for medical checkups as required by their probation, according to Ms. Jayaraman, the defense attorney. Ms. Jayaraman said that Brandon was checked by a doctor when he was 10 days old, but she did not know whether the child had seen a doctor since.

“Nobody argues that these aren’t very loving, nurturing parents,” she said Tuesday. “Whether their religion had anything to do with the death of their baby, we don’t know.”

• Michael Rubinkam reported from northeast Pennsylvania.