TOLEDO, Ohio -- After six hours of deliberations, ajury in Lucas County Common Pleas Court found a priestguilty of killing a nun in a Toledo hospital chapel in1980.
There were gasps in the courtroom as the verdict wasread just after 11:30 a.m.
The jurors did not look at the Rev. Gerald Robinson asthey left the courtroom. Robinson showed no visiblereaction in the courtroom.
Judge Thomas Osowik immediately sentenced Robinson,68, to the mandatory term of 15 years to life inprison. That means he will be eligible for paroleafter 15 years.
Robinson has been on trial for the past two weeks,accused of killing Sister Margaret Ann Pahl the daybefore Easter in the chapel at Mercy Hospital.
Prosecutors contend the killing was sparked by thepriest's simmering anger over Pahl's domineering ways.
The nun was stabbed through an altar cloth with thepunctures forming an upside down cross and annointedwith a smudge of her blood on the forehead to humilateher in death, prosecutors said.
The priest has denied any wrongdoing.
In a statement, the Diocese of Toledo calls this "asad day" and says it hopes the conclusion of the trialcan bring some healing to all those affected by thecase.
Assistant Lucas County Prosecutor Dean Mandros said hewas surprised jurors came back with their decisionafter only about six hours of deliberations. ButMandros said his team always believed it was right ingoing after Robinson and always believed Robinson liedto police about his whereabouts when Pahl was killed.
Defense attorney John Thebes said when the jury'sverdict was read, he and Robinson shared the sameemotion: shock. But he said his team did everythingthey possibly could.
The priest's lawyers say they intend to appeal.----------http://www.courttv.com/trials/priest/051106_jurydidnthear_ctv.html?print=yes&page
The case against Rev. Robinson: What the jury didn'thearBy Harriet RyanCourt TV
TOLEDO, Ohio The jury that convicted the Rev. GeraldRobinson Thursday listened to 41 witnesses during thethree-week trial, but they did not hear every piece ofinformation authorities uncovered in the course oftheir investigation.
Prosecutors were barred by law from presenting someevidence against the priest. Other information wasdeemed irrelevant to the murder of Sr. Margaret AnnPahl or open to too many interpretations to benefittheir case. Among the things jurors did not hear:
The polygraph. Two weeks after the murder, Robinsonfailed a lie detector exam given by a policeinvestigator. A retest administered by a polygrapherhired by the Catholic diocese the next month wasinconclusive. The defense has said the priest was tooexhausted and stressed from the police interrogationfor the test to be effective.
S&M allegation. In 2003, a nun told a diocesan panelthat she was sexually abused by Robinson when she was15. She claimed that another priest paid her father tolet Robinson engage her in sadomasochistic actsinvolving a whip. The same woman also alleged she wasraped repeatedly as a girl during satanic rituals ledby priests. Authorities have not been able tosubstantiate or disprove her charges.
Occult book. When police searched Robinson's home in2004, they found a pamphlet entitled "The Occult."Many passages were underlined, including onedescribing a black Mass in which "an innocent" wasused as an altar. The booklet was published by aCatholic group in the 1970s, before the murder, but itwas unclear whether Robinson obtained it before orafter the murder.
Swiatecki's pleas. When police interviewed Robinsonabout two weeks after the murder, the other hospitalchaplain, Rev. Jerome Swiatecki, accompanied him tothe station. According to the detectives, Swiateckithe son of a police officer emphatically andrepeatedly urged Robinson to "just tell them thetruth." Some in law enforcement have speculated thatRobinson confessed to Swiatecki, but that Swiateckiwould have been bound by the seal of the confessionalnot to reveal any details.
Coffin photos. Police officers searching Robinson'shouse in 2004 found hundreds of photos of corpses incoffins. Some appeared to be very old and European.Although taking pictures of dead relatives is commonamong some ethnic traditions, the sheer number in thepriest's house suggested that not all of the dead werefamily members.