May 10, 2006

Priest's defense rests case; closing arguments next

Toledo Blade


The Rev. Gerald Robinson's defense rested yesterday after calling 11 witnesses in two days, probing police and forensic experts to build its case that there is insufficient evidence to convict the priest of murder.

Father Robinson is charged in the 1980 slaying of Sister Margaret Ann Pahl, who was choked to the verge of death, then stabbed 31 times on Holy Saturday in the sacristy of the former Mercy Hospital. Prosecution witnesses in the case in Lucas County Common Pleas Court have testified it was a ritual killing, the first nine stab wounds were in the near-perfect shape of an upside-down cross, and the wounds were allegedly made by the priest's medallion letter opener.

Closing arguments are set for tomorrow, after which the 12 jurors will begin their deliberations. Jurors, who must reach a unanimous verdict, will not be sequestered except when deliberating.

Posted by kshaw at May 10, 2006 05:36 AM