May 13, 2006

Satanic aspects left out of trial; prosecutor says priest's murder of nun had cult hallmarks

Toledo Blade


The slaying of Sister Margaret Ann Pahl was "a classic textbook satanic cult killing," according to Lucas County Assistant Prosecutor Dean Mandros, but he thought it would not be a wise strategy to pursue in the murder trial of Toledo priest Gerald Robinson.

In an interview in his office yesterday, the day after Robinson was convicted of murdering Sister Margaret Ann on Holy Saturday 26 years ago, Mr. Mandros said he "did not want to go in that direction" of trying to prove that the crime was a satanic slaying.

"There was a tremendous amount of evidence that would have allowed you to make that argument," he said. "We had professionals with expertise in the occult say, 'Yes, this is a classic textbook satanic cult killing' - more than any case they'd ever seen."

But prosecutors felt it was better to try the 68-year-old priest on a straight murder charge. That legal strategy proved successful for prosecutors Thursday morning when a Lucas County Common Pleas Court jury convicted Robinson of murder. Judge Thomas Osowik immediately sentenced the retired priest to 15 years to life in prison, with eligibility for parole in 10 1/2 years.

Posted by kshaw at May 13, 2006 07:43 AM