Ellen Robb's family: Keep killer in jail

Laura McCrystal
February 8, 2016

Montgomery County's district attorney joined relatives of Ellen Gregory Robb on Monday to publicly renew their opposition to parole for Rafael Robb, her husband and a former University of Pennsylvania professor, who is imprisoned for killing her.

"Ellen is serving a lifetime sentence in her grave, and this man must fill his entire sentence," her brother Gary Gregory said at a news conference in Norristown.

Rafael Robb pleaded guilty in 2007 to fatally bludgeoning his wife in their Upper Merion Township home in 2006 as she was wrapping Christmas presents. He has served nine years of his five- to 10-year sentence.

The parole board last refused to release him in October 2014 and is to reconsider early this year. Robb is on the interview schedule for this month, said Laura Treaster, a spokeswoman for the state Board of Probation and Parole.

"Make no mistake about this: This was a brutal killing, a horrible death," the prosecutor said. "He has continued to be unrepentant and he has opposed efforts to provide monetary support for his only daughter, Olivia."

Ellen Robb's relatives, who fought against his release in the past, are scheduled to meet with the parole board Tuesday.

Gregory said his family will present new information to the board, including Robb's apparent lack of remorse shown during a 2014 civil trial in which his in-laws sued him. A jury ultimately awarded $124 million to Ellen Robb's estate, money the family says will go to the couple's daughter.

Olivia Robb, who testified against her father at the trial, is in college and "doing remarkably well," said Gregory.

Standing with the family at the news conference was Rep. Mike Vereb (R., Montgomery), who pushed the state legislation that allows victims' families to meet with the parole board. "To get out on parole, you need to be remorseful, and more importantly, you need to accept responsibility for the crime with which you were charged," Vereb said.

Parole decisions typically occur from six to 10 weeks after interviews, the board spokeswoman said.

If Robb is not granted parole, he is scheduled to be released from prison next year.


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