April 22, 2006

Jurors Go to Chapel in Priest's Murder Trial

Los Angeles Times

By P.J. Huffstutter, Times Staff Writer
April 22, 2006

TOLEDO, Ohio The jurors walked through the hospital chapel sacristy Friday morning, a seemingly stoic group touring the scene of a crime that has chilled this town for more than a quarter-century.

On a warm April morning in 1980, a nun found the mutilated body of Sister Margaret Ann Pahl sprawled on the floor of the tiny room, in the shadow of a small wooden crucifix.

On Friday, 16 jurors brushed past wooden drawers filled with priestly vestments, taking in the place where a killer struck as the 71-year-old Pahl was preparing for communion services.

Father Gerald Robinson a popular and now frail 68-year-old Roman Catholic priest who helped preside over Pahl's funeral Mass is charged in her death.

The nun was choked so hard that the blood vessels in her eyes burst and bones in her neck were crushed. While she was still breathing, the killer stabbed Pahl 31 times. Some of the wounds formed the shape of an upside-down cross.

The killer then pulled down her undergarments, prosecutors said, and left her exposed on the pink-speckled terrazzo floor.

Posted by kshaw at April 22, 2006 11:49 AM