Family seeks more prison time for wife killer

January 22, 2013 5:37:03 PM PST
The Pennsylvania Parole Board is reconsidering a decision to grant early release to a former University of Pennsylvania professor who murdered his wife.

That is the result of a hearing today in Harrisburg,

When Ellen Robb's brothers took their crusade to the State Board of Probation and Parole late today, they succeeded in getting the ear of the panel that had decided to let confessed wife killer Rafael Robb go free after serving only half of his 10 year sentence for manslaughter.

The board will review the case surrounding the killing of their sister.

"We're confident that with the new data and evidence provided, the parole board is now firmly and fully equipped to review this, do the right thing, and keep Rafael Robb behind bars and incarcerated where he belongs," the victim's brother Gary Gregory said.

Ellen Robb was beaten to death by her husband, former Penn professor Rafael Robb, back in December of 2006 when she told him she wanted a divorce.

Robb first tried to blame it on burglars who never existed, but later cut a deal to enter a guilty plea.

Now with help of the current district attorney and the judge who presided at the trial, the family has convinced the board to reconsider the early release.

Judge Paul Tressler sent a letter to the parole board, saying in part, Robb remains "highly manipulative."

Judge Tressler goes on to say, "Even more telling is his attempt to manipulate his grieving daughter into continuing her relationship with him by threatening to withhold financial support for her future."

The board, at least for now, is listening.

"We will have an answer by January 28th based upon the outcome of the additional information we received," Parole Board Chairman Michael Potteiger said.

Late today, Ellen Robb's family appeared optimistic they've made some headway towards forcing Robb to do the full 10 years.

"This is a cold, calculating killer who has not only manipulated in the past, but continued to attempt to manipulate," Gregory said.

The Robb release is essentially on hold pending the new review of the case.

The parole board promises a verdict on January 28th, this coming Monday, the day Rafael Robb was scheduled to be released in the first place.


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