September 1, 2014

Elyria
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Attorney: Priest’s trial was flawed

TOLEDO — The trial that convicted a Catholic priest of murdering a nun was flawed and sensationalized, according to documents filed in the priest’s appeal.

Attorneys for the Rev. Gerald Robinson filed a document with the Ohio 6th District Court of Appeals Wednesday outlining what they claim were eight crucial mistakes that led to Robinson’s conviction in May 2006.

Robinson was found guilty of killing Sister Margaret Ann Pahl, 71, in 1980. He was sentenced to a mandatory term of 15 years to life in prison.

The nun was found strangled and stabbed 31 times in her face, neck and chest in the chapel of Mercy Hospital near downtown Toledo. Robinson, now 69, was a chaplain at the hospital at the time.

The documents accuse prosecutors of sensationalizing the case by characterizing Robinson as “the anti-Christ” and claiming Pahl was killed in a satanic ritual.

The trial also contained tainted evidence, Robinson’s attorneys said. Police took more than 24 years to arrest the priest for the murder and several key witnesses are now dead, according to the documents.