Stroudsburg, Monroe County - The nation is watching as a former Monroe County Reverend explains his side of the story in a murder trial.
Arthur Schirmer took the stand Friday. Schirmer admitted he is an adulterer, a liar, and a hypocrite. But he maintains he is not a killer. His testimony is getting national attention. Court Administration Employee Terri Ludwig noted, "They are bigger news conglomerates that we've never had here for any kind of trial."
Court staffers say the case is big because it has all the twists and turns of a TV movie. There's a preacher accused of murdering two wives. He is a man who is supposed to uphold moral values that is admitting to multiple affairs.
The story has appeared in People Magazine. The Associated Press has a reporter sending reports across the country. There are also crews from Dateline and 48 Hours.
Courthouse staffers spent about a week of extra work preparing for the media and spectators in the courtroom. Court Administrator Lyn Bailey said, "We all sat down and brain stormed this and did it as a think tank approach."
They called the Centre County Court and got advice on how that court handled the Jerry Sandusky trial crowds. While the Monroe County crowd isn't as big, the advice helped.
The President Judge, Sheriff's department, and Administration staff worked together. They organized courtroom seating, started a media website, and planned jury logistics among other things. Bailey said, "If you really plan, if you over plan, you're pretty much ready to go and you're not to worried about it."
The planning worked. All nine days of testimony went off without any apparent problems.