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Pastor Plugged Ears During Witness Testimony

STROUDSBURG — The pastor on trial for allegedly killing his wife in the Poconos stuck his fingers in his ears Tuesday morning to keep from listening to a pathologist who testified about his first wife’s death.

For the entire morning during the murder trial of former pastor Arthur Schirmer, a forensic pathologist testified about the injuries found on the bodies of Schirmer’s two wives.

His first wife, Jewel Schirmer, and second wife, Betty Schirmer.

Arthur Schirmer is accused of beating both of his wives then staging it to make both look like accidents.

But once the forensic pathologist began testifying – in detail – about the injuries of both women, the pastor put his fingers in his ears, closed his eyes and bowed his head.

The testimony Schirmer apparently didn’t want to hear focused around what the prosecutors have been trying to prove the entire time.

The car crash on Route 715 near Tannersville in July 2008, which is the crash that appeared to have injured Betty and led to her death, was no accident.

“The alleged traffic accident which I thought was a staged event, was my conclusion, was a staged event,” said Dr. Wayne Ross, a forensic pathologist.

While on the stand, forensic pathologist Dr. Ross testified, after looking at medical records and cat scans for Betty Schirmer, her injuries were not consistent with being in a car crash.

He then reviewed his autopsy results for first wife Jewel Schirmer.

He then testified both of Schirmer’s wives had similar injuries, in similar places, by a similar object.

“You look at Jewel Schirmer, she’s got two strikes on the right side of her head. It looks like a long cylindrical object. Compare that to Betty Schirmer, she’s got two strikes in the right side of her head, the lacerations are similar, the patterns are similar,” said Dr. Ross.

But Dr. Ross says when he first investigated Jewel’s body, days after her death in 1999, he says something didn’t look right. He then contacted Lebanon County prosecutors, who he says, did nothing.

Trial resumes Wednesday.

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