A pastor was sentenced to life in prison today after being convicted of murdering his second wife. This case prompted police to re-examine the death of the pastor's first wife, and he has been charged in that case as well.
David Kidwell / Pocono Record / AP
A former pastor was sentenced Monday to life in prison without parole in the fatal bludgeoning of his second wife in 2008.
Arthur "A.B." Schirmer, 64, was sentenced nearly two months after a jury convicted him of first-degree murder in the death of Betty Schirmer. The conviction brought an automatic life sentence.
"My mom is finally able to rest in peace," Betty Schirmer's son, Nate Novack, said after the sentencing. "We do have some closure and it's a great day overall, even though the life conviction isn't going to bring my mom back."
Mr. Schirmer is charged separately with killing his first wife, Jewel Schirmer, in 1999. He awaits trial in that case.
Prosecutors said he clubbed Betty Schirmer on the head with a crowbar, then loaded her into their car and staged a low-speed accident in an effort to conceal the crime. The former Methodist clergyman took the stand in his own defense and testified that he was driving her to the emergency room for treatment of jaw pain when he swerved to avoid a deer and hit a guard rail.
A jury deliberated about 90 minutes before returning its verdict.