Ex-pastor gets life in 2nd's wife's death - abc27 WHTM

Ex-pastor gets life in 2nd's wife's death

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A former pastor accused of killing both of his wives will spend life in prison with no chance of parole for killing his second wife in the Poconos in 2008.

Arthur Schirmer, 64, received his sentence Monday in Monroe County.

Schirmer in January was found guilty of first-degree murder for killing Betty Schirmer while he was serving as a pastor at a United Methodist church in Reeders.

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 crash.

Prosecutors said he beat his wife to death with a crowbar and staged the crash to cover up the crime.

Schirmer is awaiting a second trial in Lebanon County for the death of his first wife, Jewel, in 1999.

Jewel Schirmer died the day after she reportedly fell down a flight of stairs at the Bethany United Methodist Church parsonage in North Lebanon Township.

An autopsy could not determine 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 has insisted he is innocent in both cases.

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