Convicted wife killer, an ex-Penn prof., counts down to parole

January 18, 2013 4:46:42 AM PST
A local family is outraged as they await the release of the man who confessed and was convicted of killing their loved one.

Confessed wife killer Rafael Robb is set to get out of prison at the end of the month. He was granted parole last fall, the first time he was formally eligible.

Robb pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter in 2007, admitting he used an exercise bar to bludgeon his wife, Ellen, to death.

In 2008 he was sentenced to the maximum penalty: 5 to 10 years. He's getting out after 5, and the victim's family is outraged.

"We're serving a lifelong sentence for this most heinous and murderous act. We'll never recover from it," said Ellen Robb's brother, Gary Gregory.

Current Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Ferman says Robb got off too easy in the first place.

She is joining the family and trying to enlist the governor to appeal to the parole board to hold Robb for the full ten years.

"When I was out at the crime scene and I saw what I saw, looking at that body, knowing what the family went through, that screams to me of someone who should be separated from society forever," said Ferman.

In the fall of 2011 the parole board denied pre-release to Robb, citing reported misconduct in the jail and lack of remorse for the offenses.

The former Ivy League professor apparently turned on the charm in the months afterwards. The parole board gave him a thumbs-up for parole this year, citing "positive institutional behavior . . . and acceptance of responsibility for the offenses committed."

When police investigated the crime, Robb spun a web of lies to get suspicion away from himself.

"And the parole board has the ability, they have the authority, they have the right to reconsider this and revoke his pending parole," said Gregory.

The couple's child is now an 18-year-old college student who still has extensive contact with her imprisoned father.

Rafael Robb still co-owns the house where he killed his wife, along with his wife's estate. Robb's release date is set for January 28th.

Between now and then there will be a full-court press trying to prevent him from walking free so soon.