Arthur Schirmer appears for a Dec. 11 preliminary hearing in Lebanon County.
LEBANON, Pa. (WHTM) -
A former pastor convicted in the 2008 death of his second wife in the
Poconos has pleaded not guilty to killing his first
wife in Lebanon County in 1999.
Arthur Schirmer, 64, entered the plea Wednesday in Lebanon County court, where he also waived his formal arraignment in the case.
District Attorney David Arnold told abc27 News that Schirmer may go on trial in the fall or early winter.
Schirmer's first wife, Jewel, died the day after she reportedly fell down a flight of
stairs at the Bethany United Methodist Church parsonage in North Lebanon
An autopsy could not determined whether her death was an accident or a
homicide until the investigation was reopened last year. A second
autopsy determined her death was a homicide and a grand
jury found her injuries were not consistent with a fall.
Schirmer last month was found guilty of killing Betty Schirmer
while he was serving as an associate pastor at a United Methodist church
in Reeders, Monroe County.
He took the stand during the trial and told jurors he was driving his wife to a
hospital for jaw pain when a deer crossed the road and caused them to
Prosecutors argued he beat his wife to death and staged the crash to cover up the crime.
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