Priest dies a day after judge denies him compassionate release from prison

His lawyer said he could tell the Rev. Gerald Robinson was close to death when he told him a judge had rejected his request to die outside prison.
By Frances Burns   |   July 4, 2014 at 2:31 PM

COLUMBUS, Ohio, July 4 (UPI) -- A Catholic priest imprisoned for the murder of a nun died Friday in an Ohio prison hospital a day after a judge refused him compassionate release.

The Rev. Gerald Robinson, who was being held in the hospice unit of a prison hospital, had requested that he be released to live with a brother in Toledo. Robinson was told after he had a heart attack in late May that he was likely to be dead in a month or two.

Rick Kerger said he talked to Robinson about U.S. District Judge James Gwin's decision Thursday afternoon.

"He was having a hard time understanding me, so I knew it was getting close," Kerger said. "It's unfortunate we couldn't finish out the federal case, I think it would have had a different ending.‍‍"

Robinson was convicted more than 25 years later of killing Sister Mary Ann Pahl in 1980 in the chapel at a Toledo hospital where he was chaplain. Pahl, who was stabbed multiple times with nine of the wounds in an inverted cross pattern, was the chapel's caretaker.

Robinson was questioned after the killing but was not charged until investigators received a letter from a woman who charged that he had molested her as a child in what she described as satanic ritual abuse.

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