January 29, 2005

Accused priest has new judge, trial date

Toledo Blade


A Toledo priest accused in the slaying of a nun nearly 25 years ago has a new judge and a new trial date.

Newly elected Lucas County Common Pleas Court Judge Thomas Osowik yesterday pushed back the trial of the Rev. Gerald Robinson to Oct. 17. It was set to begin Feb. 22.

Father Robinson, 66, who did not appear with his attorneys at the hearing, is charged with aggravated murder in the 1980 stabbing and strangulation death of Sister Margaret Ann Pahl in the sacristy of a chapel in the former Mercy Hospital.

Judge Patrick Foley was assigned to handle the case when the semiretired Roman Catholic priest was indicted in April. However, Judge Foley lost his seat in the November election to Gary Cook, a Lucas County prosecutor.

As Judge Foley's successor, Judge Cook normally would have inherited the case. But because he was on the prosecution team that investigated the murder, it was assigned to Judge Osowik.

The hearing was delayed about 20 minutes while the priest's attorneys, Jack Callahan, John Thebes, and Alan Konop, and assistant prosecutors J. Christopher Anderson and Dean Mandros huddled in a conference room with Judge Osowik.

Posted by kshaw at January 29, 2005 07:01 AM