Key Points in Testimony from the Trial

Key points from two weeks of testimony in the trial the Rev. Gerald Robinson.

PROSECUTION:

  • Two medical examiners said blood stains on a chapel altar cloth could have come from the Rev. Gerald Robinson's sword-shaped letter opener.
  • An assistant coroner testified that a letter opener found in the priest's room was a "perfect fit" when inserted into a wound in Sister Margaret Ann Pahl's jawbone.
  • Toledo police detective Terry Cousino said holes in the altar cloth were consistent with the letter opener's blade.
  • Former police investigator Josh Franks said he found a small speck that was likely blood under a medallion on the letter opener.
  • Two hospital workers said they saw Robinson at the chapel about an hour before the nun's body was found. One said she saw him with a duffel bag.
  • Medical examiner Paulette Sutton testified that the nun's chest wounds were in the pattern of an upside down cross.
  • A Roman Catholic priest who is an expert on the occult said inverted crosses have been used in satanic worship and could have been intended to mock God.
  • A former police officer said Robinson told police someone confessed to him that they had killed Sister Pahl, but the priest then admitted he made that up.
  • Hospital housekeeper Shirley Lucas said the nun was very upset a day before she died about changes being made to Easter weekend worship services.

DEFENSE:

  • DNA experts said the nun's underwear and fingernails had traces of DNA that was likely from a man but not from Robinson, and that his DNA wasn't on the altar cloth.
  • Sister Phyllis Ann Gerold said nuns checking the chapel after the slaying found that a pair of scissors was missing along with the nun's watch and cross pin.
  • A medical examiner who compared blood stains to the letter opener said scissors could have left a stain found on the altar cloth.
  • Sister Madelyn Marie Gordon, the chapel organist, said she saw a man in work clothes in a hallway near the chapel and it looked he "was in a big hurry."
  • A security guard said they did not track whether guards or housekeepers went into the priest's room where the letter opener was found in a desk drawer.
  • Police detectives testified that hospital workers who say they saw Robinson near the chapel gave inconsistent information about where and when they saw him.
  • Former detective Arthur Marx said he did not test the chapel doors and windows for fingerprints or Robinson's room and the hallway leading to it for blood or hair.
  • Forensic scientist Kathleen Reichs said investigators may have compromised evidence while examining a puncture wound in nun's jawbone.

Source: Associated Press