Physical evidence played key role in Robinson murder trial

Robinson was sentenced to 15 years in prison.

TOLEDO -- For three weeks in the spring of 2006, the nation's attention focused on Toledo during Father Gerald Robinson's murder trial.

The verdict, guilty on all counts, was handed down May 11 following days of often gruesome testimony.

It included evidence gathered after the murder on Holy Saturday of 1980 in the sacristy of the old Toledo Mercy Hospital chapel.

The evidence included an alter cloth stained with Sister Margaret Ann Pahl's blood.

The stain appeared to match a dagger-shaped letter opener belonging to Father Robinson.

Prosecutors said the tip of the opener fit a wound in the nun's body "like a key in a lock."

Defense lawyers tried to introduce reasonable doubt by citing DNA evidence found under Sister Pahl's fingernails. It was male DNA that did not match Father Robinson.

The jury didn't buy the defense argument.

Robinson was sentenced to 15 years in prison.

All appeals -- including to the U-S Supreme Court -- failed.