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Defense: Monroe County pastor's wives died during accidents

Published January 18. 2013 05:02PM

STROUDSBURG, Pa. (AP) - Two defense experts say blood and post mortem evidence support a former Pennsylvania pastor's claims that his wives died in accidents and were not bludgeoned by him as prosecutors claim.

The Pocono Record reports Thursday's expert testimony came in the eighth day of the Monroe County trial of 64-year-old Arthur Schirmer, who is charged in the July 2008 death of his second wife, Betty. He's awaiting trial on charges he similarly killed his first wife, Jewel, in 1999 only to claim she died from falling down stairs.

Prosecutors say Schirmer staged a car crash to cover up the alleged 2008 killing.

But a blood expert and a pathologist say blood found inside the car and the woman's injuries are consistent with Schirmer's claim that his second wife hit her head during the crash.

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