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Nun-Killing Priest Gets A Funeral Mass

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REV GERALD ROBINSON
Toledo Catholic priest, Rev. Gerald Robinson sits in Lucas County Commons Pleas Court in Toledo, Ohio Friday May 20, 2011. Robinson is trying to overturn his conviction for killing a nun. Defense attorneys told a Lucas County Common Pleas Court judge that the police reports show that witnesses who were at the scene of the murder in 1980 saw a mysterious man around the time Sister Margaret Ann Pahl was killed. The attorneys believe the information could have helped Robinson during his trial. R | ASSOCIATED PRESS

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A Roman Catholic priest convicted of stabbing and strangling a nun 34 years ago in a hospital chapel will receive a funeral Mass, a church official said Saturday.

The Rev. Gerald Robinson remained an ordained priest after his conviction and his services will follow the usual protocol for a diocesan priest's funeral, the Rev. Charles Ritter, administrator for the Diocese of Toledo, said in a statement.

Robinson, 76, died Friday. He had been serving a prison sentence of 15 years to life in what church historians have characterized as the only documented case of a Catholic priest killing a nun. He was arrested 24 years after the nun's death and found guilty in 2006 of stabbing and strangling Sister Margaret Ann Pahl at a Toledo hospital where they both worked.

Robinson had been in a hospice unit since the end of May after suffering a heart attack.

Robinson and Pahl, 71, had worked closely together at the hospital, where he was a chaplain and she was caretaker of the chapel. He presided at her funeral Mass.

Prosecutors blamed the murder on Robinson's simmering anger over Pahl's domineering ways, saying their relationship was strained and that Pahl was upset over the shortening of Good Friday services a day before she was killed.

Robinson continued to maintain his innocence.

"Whether in the eyes of God, Father Robinson was or was not guilty of this crime, I do not know," Ritter said in his statement. "I do know that he is the work of God's hands, as are we all."

The statement said funeral arrangements were pending.

___

Seewer reported from Toledo, Ohio.

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