Thanks for the continued effort and advice. As I stated in my original post, the upper edge is the sticking point for me. Where the stop light fixture is, it appears that the interior panel's material is tucked between and unlike the rest of the area may be subject to breakage. I was able to get the edge to shuck side-to-side some but not out.
My reason to remove this panel is to gain access to the rear wiper unit. It does not move when I attempt to activate it via the dash switch. I can hear the relay clicking but no movement at the motor. At $300 +/- for a replacement motor, I am going to attempt to fix the existing one . . . love those challenges! I'll keep watching for your threads. Steve