April 25, 2006

Day by day account of Fr. Robinson Trial

13 ABC

Day by day account of the trial in progress.

April 21--TOLEDO, Ohio -- A letter opener with a diamond-shaped blade found in the room of priest accused of killing a nun in a hospital chapel was an exact match with the wounds found on the nun's chest, a prosecutor said Friday. And the tip fits exactly with a small hole in the jaw of Sister Margaret Ann Pahl who was strangled and stabbed a day before Easter in 1980, Lucas County Assistant Prosecutor Dean Mandros said in opening statements of the priest's trial. "Fits like a key in a lock," he said.

The Rev. Gerald Robinson, 68, is accused of strangling and stabbing Pahl, 71, in the chapel at the hospital where they worked together. The priest presided at her funeral Mass four days after her death. Investigators who reopened the murder case after two decades say they found bloodstains on an altar cloth that matched those from the sword-shaped letter opener. They said the stains were created when the letter opener was laid down on the cloth that covered part of the nun's body.

Prosecutors said they will not try to prove a motive in the killing during the trial. Defense attorney Alan Konop said inconsistencies in statements made by witnesses over the last two decades will leave doubt in the minds of the jurors about who committed the crime. "Pieces of the prosecutor's puzzle do not fit," he said.

Posted by kshaw at April 25, 2006 03:13 PM