Pastor Charged with Killing Both Wives
A pastor who used to serve a church community in Monroe County is now accused of killing his first wife in 1999.
He is already scheduled to go to trial for murdering his second wife four years ago in the Poconos.
Friday morning, former Pastor Arthur Schirmer was charged with killing his first wife in Lebanon County.
The latest charge from Central Pennsylvania has some neighbors in Monroe County shocked and others excited.
Schirmer is set to stand trial in January in Stroudsburg accused of killing his wife Betty in 2008 near their home in Reeders.
Now, the former pastor of the United Methodist Church in Reeders is facing another homicide charge.
That one is for the death of his first wife, Jewel.
The Lebanon County District Attorney’s Office and its Detective Bureau have now announced they’ve charged the former pastor for killing Jewel in their Lebanon County home in 1999.
At first Jewel’s death seemed like an accident.
Just like the 2008 death of Schirmer’s second wife Betty.
Prosecutors say Schirmer tried to make it look like Betty died in a car crash near Tannersville.
Two years later, investigators ruled Betty’s death a homicide.
While the Monroe County District Attorney’s Office was investigating that case, they contacted authorities in Lebanon County who started investigating Jewel’s death.
It was ruled a homicide earlier this year.
Now, prosecutors said it was Schirmer who killed her.
“I’m happy that the grand jury came down with the indictment, like they did. I’ve been waiting 13 years for this day to come. It’s time for justice,” said John Behney, Jewel’s brother.
People living near Reeders, where Schirmer used to live with his second wife Betty, are satisfied he faces charges for killing both his wives.
“Kind of excited, because I felt everything I heard about the situation, that he was guilty,” said Nichole Ruocco of Scotrun.
“I’m shocked. You don’t expect that in your church community, or in your community, period. Especially from someone so important,” said Elisha Frable of Bartonsville.
Arthur Schirmer is being held in the Monroe County Prison and is expected to be brought to Lebanon County for an arraignment on the new homicide charges sometime next week.