Fr. Robinson's attorneys try to prove bias; want new trial

By Lisa Rantala - bio | email

Posted by Lisa Strawbridge - email

TOLEDO (WTOL) - The attorneys for Fr. Gerald Robinson say he should be granted another trial.

Attorney John Donahue argues Robinson had inefficient counsel when he was convicted of killing Sr. Margaret Ann Pahl back in 1980.

Prosecutor Dean Mandros disagrees. "They're just asking for a chance to retry the case because the first go round didn't go their way," he said.

In affidavits, attorneys for Robinson stated they knew about a witnesses who had the same letter opener as the one Fr. Robinson was convicted of using to stab Pahl 31 times. Attorneys describe that letter opener as thin and flimsy.

In court, Prosecutor Mandros argued, "He wants to do testing on it and do what? Hit it with a hammer? Is that where we're going with this?"

Another issue brought up by the defense attorneys is 70 pages of police reports that were kept from the defense, according to Robinson's attorneys. They say the reports include names of hospital employees where the nun was killed.

The state did not have the pages, nor were state officials required to hand them over.

A judge will decide in the next few months if Robinson gets a new trial.

As for Fr. Robinson's condition in prison, Donahue says, "He views his incarceration as God's will, for one reason or another. He doesn't try to understand it."