Former Pastor Arthur Schirmer Sentenced to Life in Prison Without Parole

Published:10:12 pm EDT, March 18, 2013| Updated:11:43 am EDT, September 20, 2013|
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Arthur Schirmer, Arthur Schirmer trial

Arthur Schirmer, a former Pennsylvanian pastor, was sentenced to life in prison without parole on Monday for the 2008 killing of his second wife, Betty Jean Schirmer, reports The Times-Tribune.

Schirmer was found guilty of first-degree murder just weeks ago following an 11-day trial that saw 60 witnesses. During the trial Schirmer took the stand, defending himself, testifying that he had been driving his late wife to the ER for treatment of jaw pain when a deer crossed the car causing him to to swerve into a nearby guard rail. The accident was said to be staged by the prosecution, who claimed that Schirmer actually staged the accident in a hasty effort to conceal the crime. Betty Schirmer, the victim, was bludgeoned in the head with a crowbar and placed in the car during the concealment.

"My mom is finally able to rest in peace," Betty Schirmer's son, Nate Novack, said after the sentencing. "We do have some closure and it's a great day overall, even though the life conviction isn't going to bring my mom back."

Schirmer is also accused of murdering his first wife in 1999 and faces another trial later this year in Lebanon County.

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