Imprisoned priest who killed nun is near death

Defense attorney: "If he dies … he’s going home so he will be vindicated there, not here.”
TNS Regional News
Jun 4, 2014


A Toledo attorney has asked Gov. John Kasich to allow a Toledo priest convicted of killing a Catholic nun to go home to die.

Gerald Robinson, 76, is terminally ill and has been moved to the hospice unit of Franklin Medical Center in Columbus, a hospital run by the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction. He has a heart condition, his attorney, Rick Kerger, said.

Mr. Kerger, who planned to visit Robinson today “to say good-bye,” said he did not expect Mr. Kasich to release Robinson as Ohio law prohibits it.

“I’ve been trying to find a way to get him a compassionate release, but that’s not allowed for people who have been convicted of murder,” he said.

Robinson was found guilty in 2006 in Lucas County Common Pleas Court of murder for the 1980 slaying of Sister Margaret Ann Pahl in the sacristy of the former Mercy Hospital chapel. He was sentenced to life in prison with parole eligibility after 15 years.

The governor’s spokesman, Rob Nichols, said Tuesday that Mr. Kasich had not yet received Mr. Kerger’s letter and had no comment.

Mr. Kerger conceded he was not sure that Robinson’s health would permit him to travel to Toledo to be with family. Robinson, he said, was taken to Franklin Medical Center in Columbus Friday from the Hocking unit of Southeastern Correctional Institution then transferred by helicopter to Ohio State University Medical Center, where physicians concluded he was “terminal.”

He is a patient at Franklin Medical Center, ODRC spokesman JoEllen Smith confirmed Tuesday.

The medical center has a unit “for inmates suffering from advanced terminal illness,” according to the ODRC Web site. Its CARE program — Creating a Responsive Environment for the Terminally Ill — is designed to provide end-of-life care that addresses “the medical, mental health, spiritual, and daily assistance needs” of the dying inmate with the goal of “providing the inmate the opportunity to die with dignity,” according to the ODRC Web site.

Mr. Kerger said Robinson requested and received the last rites, a sacramental anointing of the sick. As someone who believes Robinson is innocent, he said he fears time will run out for him.

Last month, after Robinson had lost all of his state appeals, Mr. Kerger filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus in U.S. District Court on behalf of Robinson seeking to overturn his conviction and release him from prison.

“The sad part is, obviously, if he dies, that ends all of the legal processes,” Mr. Kerger said. “But, for the Christian Catholic priest, he’s going home so he will be vindicated there, not here.”


By Jennifer Feehan - The Blade, Toledo, Ohio (MCT)

©2014 The Blade (Toledo, Ohio)

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Distributed by MCT Information Services



Would any other convicted killer be allowed this? Or are they asking just because he is a "priest"? Why should he be given any special treatment?

Your neighbor

"providing the inmate the opportunity to die with dignity,” Really?!? The nun did not get to die with dignity!!




The sad part is obviously if he dies that ends all the legal processes..... Translation.... The sad part is if he dies the lawyer no longer gets any money from the circus he is putting on.


He's going home so he will be vindicated there.....In Hell


beernsmokes2, do you understand what vindicated means? Your statement translates to "he will be proven innocent in hell". Is that what you meant? Just asking.

swiss family

Please... this is a Catholic Priest... show some respect


respect is earned. this murderer has not earned respect..


I think Swiss is being sarcastic. He's not a very big fan of Catholic Priests.


me either..


Swiss would anyone show a Catholic priest some respect when they have murdered someone. Are you serious!!

swiss family

it was "alleged" that he killed a nun...technically...he is or was a"Father" and we all know that "father knows best... don't we???and anyone who has ever had a "nun" as a teacher as a teacher, knows that they are capable of taking all kinds of objects, toys, notes, slingshots, I think I have even seen some nuns pick up an entire desk and make it disappear under their "robes"... so it is possible for her to have possibly have picked up a sharp knife and tried to make it disappear under her habit, and understatement how razor sharp it was so it could have been an accident.. couldn't it????