Former pastor's homicide trial continues in NE Pa.

By MICHAEL RUBINKAM | January 15, 2013 | 2:32 PM EST

STROUDSBURG, Pa. (AP) — A forensic pathologist says the first wife of a former Pennsylvania pastor could not have died from a fall down the stairs, as the ex-clergyman has claimed.

Dr. Wayne Ross testified Tuesday at the homicide trial of Arthur Schirmer, who's charged with killing his second wife in 2008. The defendant claims Betty Schirmer died in a car crash. Prosecutors say he hit her on the head with a blunt object.

Ross told jurors about the 1999 death of Schirmer's first wife, Jewel. Schirmer has claimed she fell down the basement stairs while vacuuming. But Ross says her extensive injuries were caused by a metal object, possibly a crowbar.

Prosecutors are trying to illustrate the similarities in both wives' deaths.

Schirmer is charged separately in Jewel Schirmer's death and awaits trial.