April 18, 2006

Can a priest be a killer?

Cincinnati Enquirer

TOLEDO - Attorneys prosecuting a priest accused of killing a nun in a hospital chapel over Easter weekend 26 years ago tried to find jurors Monday who could believe a reverend is capable of a brutal crime.

Most of the questions of the first day of jury selection centered on the potential jurors' religious beliefs and thoughts about the Roman Catholic Church.

The Rev. Gerald Robinson, 68, is accused of strangling and stabbing Sister Margaret Ann Pahl at the hospital where they worked. The priest presided at Pahl's funeral Mass four days after her death.

Investigators have not disclosed a motive but said it may have been some kind of ritual slaying because of evidence found in the chapel and because Pahl's body was posed to look as though she had been sexually assaulted even though she wasn't.

Potential jurors also were asked whether they have opinions on sexual molestation charges against clergy members in the Catholic Church. Two prospective jurors said they doubted a priest could kill a nun.

Posted by kshaw at April 18, 2006 06:41 AM