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Judge rejects appeal by ex-pastor serving life term plus decades more in murders of 2 wives


LEBANON, Pennsylvania — A central Pennsylvania judge has rejected an appeal by a former pastor convicted of having killed two wives.

The Lebanon Daily News ( ) reports that Lebanon County President Judge John Tywalk earlier this month rejected the appeal of 66-year-old Arthur Schirmer.

Schirmer was sentenced in September to 20 to 40 years in the 1999 death of 50-year-old Jewel Schirmer, his wife of 21 years.

Among the defense arguments Tywalk rejected was the public defender's contention that Schirmer's no-contest plea to third-degree murder was improperly interpreted as a failure to take responsibility.

Schirmer was already serving a life term in the 2008 death of his second wife, Betty, in Monroe County. Authorities said he killed her with a crowbar and staged a car accident to try to conceal the crime.

Information from: Lebanon Daily News,

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