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A Roman Catholic priest convicted of killing a nun who was found strangled and stabbed 34 years ago in a hospital chapel has died, a day after a judge refused his request to be released to family care so he could die in his hometown. Attorney Richard Kerger said the Rev. Gerald Robinson's sister-in-law told him the priest died Friday morning. "I'm sure he's in a better place," Kerger said.

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Robinson, 76, had been serving a 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 had been in a hospice unit since the end of May after suffering a heart attack. A federal judge on Thursday refused to release him to relatives in Toledo, concluding that the court didn't have jurisdiction to grant such compassionate release. Robinson was arrested 24 years after the nun's death and was found guilty in 2006 of stabbing and strangling Sister Margaret Ann Pahl at a Toledo hospital where they both worked. He presided at the funeral Mass for her.

- Associated Press
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