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Retired Lebanon pastor to stand trial on wives' deaths

Written by The Associated Press | Dec 11, 2012 2:06 PM

(Lebanon) — A retired Pennsylvania pastor accused of killing both of his wives has been ordered to stand trial in the first wife's 1999 death.

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A district judge found enough evidence today to send the charges against Arthur "A.B." Schirmer to trial.

The former preacher was charged in September with killing Jewel Schirmer at their home in Lebanon County. Police and prosecutors re-opened the case after Schirmer came under suspicion in the 2008 death of his second wife, Betty Jean, in the Poconos. Prosecutors in that case say Schirmer killed Betty Jean Schirmer, then staged a car accident to cover it up. He faces a January trial in Betty Jean's death, with a second trial to come later.

Schirmer maintains his innocence in both cases and his children say they support him.

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