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Published: Tuesday, 10/6/2009

U.S. Supreme Court declines to hear Robinson case


The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the appeal filed by the attorneys for Toledo Catholic priest Gerald Robinson, who is serving a life sentence for the 1980 murder of a nun.

Robinson, 71, is incarcerated in Hocking Correctional Facility in Nelsonville, Ohio. He was arrested by Lucas County cold-case investigators in April, 2004, and convicted in May, 2006, for the murder of Sister Margaret Ann Pahl.

According to evidence at the trial, the 71-year-old nun had been choked nearly to death and then stabbed 31 times in the chest, neck, and face with a saber-shaped letter opener. Her partly naked body was found by another nun on the morning of April 5, 1980 - the day before Easter - on the floor of the sacristy, next to the chapel, of the former Mercy Hospital in Toledo.

Robinson, who retired in 2004 but is still a priest, is not eligible for parole until 2021.

Robinson's conviction was initially upheld by Ohio's 6th District Court of Appeals in July, 2008. Later that year, the state Supreme Court declined to hear the case.

The case was one of 1,800 that the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear in a decision announced Monday. A petition for post-conviction relief is still pending before Lucas County Common Pleas Court Judge Gene Zmuda.

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