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Ex-Lebanon County pastor waives hearing in 2nd murder case

Written by The Associated Press | Feb 13, 2013 5:36 PM
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(Lebanon) -- A former Methodist clergyman convicted of having bludgeoned his second wife to death in eastern Pennsylvania has pleaded not guilty to having killed his first wife in midstate.

64-year-old Arthur Schirmer has waived a Lebanon County hearing Wednesday in the 1999 death of Jewel Schirmer, his wife of more than three decades.

Schirmer was convicted last month in Monroe County of first-degree murder and evidence tampering in the July 2008 death of 56-year-old Betty Schirmer.

Prosecutors said he killed her with a crowbar and then staged a low-speed accident to try to conceal the crime. Schirmer has vowed to appeal

He has said that Jewel Schirmer fell down the basement stairs while vacuuming, but prosecutors say that accident was also staged.

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