A Pennsylvania pastor will stand trial for murder this week in Lebanon County. Officials believe that the man is responsible for murdering two of his wives.
Former Pastor Arthur "A.B." Schirmer will stand trial this week for the murder of his second wife, Betty Jean, in 2008. Schirmer has also been charged with murdering his previous wife, Jewel, who died in 1999. Schirmer has insisted that he is innocent on both charges.
The former pastor has been described by prosecutors as an adulterer, who had multiple extra marital affairs and preyed on "women in his church who were having trouble in their own marriages," court documents revealed, according to The Huffington Post. Police believe that Schirmer killed his second wife, Betty Jean, and then attempted to cover up the crime by staging a car accident.
Schirmer told police that he had been driving with Betty Jean when she began to complain about a pain in her jaw and unbuckled her seatbelt, according to the Mail Online. He then stated that a deer came into the middle of the road, forcing him to swerve off the road and causing the car to crash. However, police later discovered the damage to the car was not critical enough to produce the amount of blood that was found inside.
Schirmer was charged with Betty's murder two years ago. During the investigation suspicion was also cast on the pastor's previous wife, who had allegedly fallen down a set of stairs. At the time, Schirmer declared that he had been out for a run and came home to find his then-wife at the bottom of the stairs in a pool of blood. He was charged with the death of his first wife last September.
"We find it particularly disturbing and difficult to believe that both of A.B. Schirmer's wives could have suffered such horrific injuries by accident," a Grand Jury report stated in September. "To the contrary, we believe probable cause exists to believe that neither woman died from an accident"
The trial will take place this week in Lebanon, Pennsylvania where Schirmer shared a home with his first wife before moving to Monroe County.