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Crime & Courts

Former pastor's brother-in-law tells jury he didn't think sister's death was from fall

The brother of a woman who died nearly 14 years ago says he knew almost immediately that she had not suffered a fall down the stairs, as her husband claimed.

Jonathan Behney testified Tuesday against former Pennsylvania pastor Arthur Schirmer, who's charged with killing Jewel Schirmer in 1999 and his second wife, Betty Schirmer, in 2008.

Behney told jurors he took one look at his sister's battered face, arms and hands and concluded she had been in a fight. But he says a police investigation into Jewel Schirmer's death was over almost as soon as it began.

Prosecutors in Lebanon County reopened the probe years later, after Betty Schirmer's death was ruled a homicide.

Schirmer is charged with killing Betty Schirmer.

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