By Brad Segall and Walt Hunter
UPPER MERION, Pa. (CBS) — A former University of Pennsylvania economics professor who was sentenced to 5-10 years behind bars for bludgeoning his wife to death in their Upper Merion home more than six years ago is scheduled to be released from prison later this month, and the victim’s family is stunned.
As Ellen Robb sat wrapping Christmas presents for her family and 12-year-old daughter in December of 2006, she was attacked and murdered by her husband, Rafael. The beating she suffered was so brutal that, at first, police thought she had been blasted in the face with a shotgun.
But in November, the man who committed the crime, Dr. Rafael Robb, was approved for parole and is scheduled to be released from the state correctional facility in Mercer County on January 28th. He pleaded guilty to manslaughter in 2007 for beating Ellen to death with a chin-up bar during an argument.
Now, the victim’s family is calling on the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole to reconsider its decision.
Her brother, Gary Gregory, calls the decision “beyond comprehension” and says Robb shouldn’t be set free after serving just the minimum sentence.
“We’re serving a lifelong sentence, and it’s not only our family and friends who knew and loved Ellen, but it’s also the community — all of the victims of domestic violence,” he told KYW Newsradio today.
He also says that Rafael Robb, who was denied parole in late 2011, has never shown any remorse.
Montgomery County DA Risa Ferman says her office was not advised that Robb would be released. She says she is concerned that the process does not give the family an opportunity to address the board at a hearing before a final decision is made.