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Ex-pastor Arthur Schirmer waives hearing in death of 1st wife

He was convicted in Jan. of killing 2nd wife in Monroe County

LEBANON, Pa. - A former Methodist pastor convicted of having bludgeoned his second wife to death in Monroe County has pleaded not guilty to having killed his first wife in central Pennsylvania.

The Lebanon Daily News says 64-year-old Arthur Schirmer waived a Lebanon County hearing Wednesday in the 1999 death of Jewel Schirmer, his wife of more than three decades.

Schirmer was convicted last month in Monroe County of first-degree murder and evidence tampering in the July 2008 death of 56-year-old Betty Schirmer.

Prosecutors said he killed her with a crowbar and then staged a low-speed accident to try to conceal the crime. Schirmer has vowed to appeal.

He has said that Jewel Schirmer fell down the basement stairs while vacuuming, but prosecutors say that accident was also staged.


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