Former Pastor on Trial for Killing Wife Shows Emotion
STROUDSBURG — For the first time at the trial for a pastor accused of killing his wife in the Poconos, the man finally showed emotion in court.
Former Pastor Arthur Schirmer showed some emotion only when a certain piece of evidence was displayed.
It was a picture of the man found dead inside Schirmer’s office, a few months after the former pastor’s wife died.
That photograph was of the man, who prosecutors said, shot himself in October of 2008 while inside Schirmer’s office at the United Methodist Church in Reeders.
Investigators said that man’s wife was having an affair with Schirmer.
The picture showed a man slumped over, sitting behind Schirmer’s desk with a handgun on the floor nearby.
While photographs from the suicide were shown on a monitor to the jury and the courtroom, Arthur Schirmer was seen wiping his eyes, then, looking away from the screen, back up again and softly shaking his head while his hands were clasped near his mouth.
Once that piece of testimony ended, Schirmer sat through more testimony without much emotion as the prosecution revisited the crash scene investigation.
They believe Schirmer beat his wife Betty in the garage at their home in Reeders in July of 2008, then staged a car crash along Route 715.
Betty died a day later at a hospital.
One state trooper testified that Schirmer deliberately drove off the road and into the guide rail. He testified Betty was not injured in the crash.
Another witness, a DNA specialist, testified the blood samples taken from the garage belonged to Schirmer’s wife Betty.
The trial in Monroe County is expected to last up to three weeks.
Schirmer also faces a trial in Lebanon County for the death of his first wife, Jewel, in 1999.
Prosecutors believe Schirmer made Jewel’s death appear to be an accident as well.