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A federal court has denied a request from a dying Roman Catholic priest who was convicted of killing a nun in 1980 and hoped to spend his final days in his Ohio hometown.

The Rev. Gerald Robinson's attorney previously told the court the priest has been in a Columbus prison hospice unit since the end of May after suffering a heart attack and wants to die in Toledo.

U.S. District Judge James Gwin rejected the request Thursday, concluding his court doesn't have jurisdiction to grant such compassionate release.

Robinson's attorney, Richard Kerger, said Thursday he was sorry the judge couldn't find a way to grant the release but said he understands the decision and won't be making further efforts to have Robinson moved.

Ohio law does not allow a convicted murderer who is not yet eligible for parole to be released for care to ease pain and suffering.

Robinson was convicted in 2006 of killing Sister Margaret Ann Pahl during Easter weekend at a Toledo hospital where they worked. He is serving a sentence of 15 years to life in prison and maintains his innocence.

Church historians have called it the only documented case of a Catholic priest killing a nun.

Image: The Rev. Gerald Robinson
The Rev. Gerald Robinson listens as the jury verdict pronouncing him guilty of killing a nun is read Thursday, May 11, 2006, in Toledo, Ohio. On Sunday, Oct. 8, 2006, in Toledo, more than 100 people donated a minimum of $15 at a fund-raiser for Robinson to help pay for the appeal of his murder conviction.ANDY MORRISON / Pool via AP

- The Associated Press