Robinson's Attorneys Argue to Throw Out Charges

TOLEDO -- A Catholic priest accused of murdering a nun more than 20 years ago is scheduled to be in court Friday.  His attorneys are expected to argue over some key evidence.

Father Gerald Robinson was arrested on April 23, 2004, and accused of killing Sister Margaret Ann Pahl during Easter weekend in 1980. Her body was discovered in a chapel at Mercy Hospital, covered by an altar cloth. Investigators have described it as a "ritualistic" slaying. Robinson was always a suspect in Sister Pahl's death, but was never charged until 2004.

Robinson's attorneys say police videotaped the priest in 1980 and they want prosecutors to hand the tapes over. Prosecutors say a tape-recorded interview from 1980 was never done.

The defense says charges against Robinson should be dismissed if they can prove evidence is missing or was destroyed. Robinson's lawywers also argue that he was never read his Miranda rights when he was questioned at his home two years ago, so statements made and evidence gathered at the time should be thrown out.

The judge will ultimately decide whether to allow the evidence.  The defense has also filed motions to knock out expert witnesses for the prosecution like a bone trauma expert, and a priest from the Toledo Catholic Diocese.

Robinson has been free on bond since supporters raised the money needed to set him free.

Robinson was arrested after investigators analyzed blood patterns at the murder scene, and concluded the murder weapon was "in the control of the suspect," police have said. They won't say what the murder weapon was or who owned it.

Police say a woman who alleges she had been physically and sexually abused as a child by several priests, including Robinson, spurred them to take another look at the nun's slaying. Investigators reopened the murder case in December 2003 after the county prosecutor's office received a letter. They would not say who sent the letter or what it said.

Count on News 11 to follow this case as it develops.

Posted by AEB