Category: Archive

Cork nun’s killer gets life sentence

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

Adrian O’Neill Robinson was also sentenced to a separate 20 years and 6 months in a deal that means he will avoid the death penalty.
In addition, Robinson will not be able to appeal the conviction for abducting and murdering 67-year-old Sister Philomena Fogarty and kidnapping her fellow Franciscan, 72-year-old Sister Lucie Kristofik, who survived the ordeal.
Robinson pleaded guilty to the charges Monday in a Norfolk, Virginia court. The prosecutor in the case, John R. Doyle III, had indicated that he would have been seeking the death penalty if the case had gone to trial as scheduled next January.
Doyle said Tuesday that he was “very pleased with the outcome.” He said that Robinson remained in custody in Virginia even as he faces charges in Georgia of murdering his father, Henry Robinson, and kidnapping the two nuns.
The question of the death penalty had become a central issue in the case. Robinson himself pleaded for his life and was supported by Fogarty’s order, the Providence, R.I.-based Franciscan Missionaries of Mary.
An objection to the death penalty in the case also came from Bishop Walter Sullivan of the diocese of Richmond.
I’m totally opposed to it,” Bishop Sullivan said prior to Robinson’s guilty plea.
Fogarty’s mutilated body was found in a Virginia Beach parking lot on March 26.
Fogarty was from the Glasheen area of Cork City. She worked for a number of years in rural Georgia before her death. Before coming to the U.S. she had worked as a missionary in Japan.
Friends and fellow parishioners in the small town of Hamilton, Ga., said after her death that Fogarty deserved comparison with Mother Teresa. Much of her religious work had been with prison inmates.
Robinson, who has prior charges of assault and theft, was arrested at a Burger King in Norfolk only hours after Fogarty’s body was found at a parking lot serving a nearby beach. Her head, hands and feet had been severed.
Police had been seeking Robinson after he allegedly shot dead his 56-year-old father at the home they shared in Hamilton, which is about 120 miles southwest of Atlanta. The elder Robinson had been shot 16 times, apparently with two different rifles.
After the killing of his father, Robinson walked three miles and broke into the mobile home where Fogarty and Kristofik lived. Robinson bound and gagged both nuns, put them in their car and drove to Norfolk, which is about 570 miles from Hamilton, and there murdered Fogarty in a motel room.

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