Stroudsburg, Monroe County - A former Monroe County pastor will spend the rest of his life in prison without the chance of parole.
Arthur Schirmer, who was convicted of first degree murder in January, was sentenced Monday morning.
The sentencing hearing was more of a formality because Schirmer's fate had already been determined after he was found guilty. In court, Schirmer did not speak and didn't even look at family members of his victim as they addressed the judge.
The former pastor of the Reeders United Methodist Church still denies that he killed his second wife Betty Jean Schirmer in 2008 and then staged a car wreck to try and cover it up.
For family members of Betty Jean, they say closure is just beginning.
"Finally, my mom is finally able to rest in peace," Nate Novack said. "We do have some closure. It's a great day overall even though the life conviction is not going to bring my mom back."
Family members of Betty Jean Schirmer crowded into the courtroom for Monday's sentencing hearing.
Six spoke on her behalf. They called her a kind and caring person. Many also called Arthur Schirmer an evil monster.
Betty Jean's own mother told Arthur Schirmer that she hated him.
"He wouldn't look at us. He wouldn't look at anybody," Jean Shertzer said.
Schirmer's new fiance and two of his daughters defended him outside of court Monday.
They claim Schirmer is innocent. They say the case is nothing but "smoke and mirrors."
"I just didn't hear evidence that led me to believe that he committed a crime. I, to this day, haven't heard anything, anything specific that has led me to that," Schirmer's daughter Julie Campbell said.
Arthur Schirmer's daughters and fiance say they may have lost the battle but say the war isn't over.
"I don't feel that I've lost him as long as he's there," Schirmer's daughter Amy Wolfgang said. "He's still supportive and we can talk to him. He's encouraging. He's hopeful and everything he's taught me is who he is."
In addition to life in prison, Schirmer was also given an additional three to 24 months in jail after being found guilty of a tampering with evidence charge.
Schirmer's legal troubles are not over.
He is also facing charges for killing his first wife Jewel in Lebanon County in 1999. That trial is currently slated to begin in early November.