February 25, 2005

Judge keeps documents sealed for now in probe of nun's killing

Toledo Blade

Documents supporting an unprecedented police search of Toledo Catholic Diocese files during the investigation into the 1980 murder of an elderly nun will remain temporarily sealed, despite the approval by the defendant in the case that they be released.

Dressed in his clerical collar, the Rev. Gerald Robinson, who is accused of strangling and stabbing Sister Margaret Ann Pahl, appeared briefly late yesterday before Lucas County Common Pleas Court Judge Thomas Osowik, who was to decide whether The Blade would be allowed access to search warrant affidavits signed by homicide investigators.

In soft-spoken, one-word answers, the 66-year-old priest said he had no objections to the release of the papers.

His appearance came after several hours of behind-closed-door arguments in the judge's chambers among prosecutors, Blade attorney Fritz Byers, and Thomas Pletz, attorney for the diocese.

The search of the downtown church headquarters in September marked one of the first times in the country a law enforcement agency has used a court order to search diocesan files.

Posted by kshaw at February 25, 2005 06:19 AM