By Brad Segall

NORRISTOWN, Pa. (CBS) — The former University of Pennsylvania economics professor who murdered his wife in their Upper Merion home nearly eight years ago is asking a judge for a new civil trial, or a reduction in the jury’s financial award to the victim’s family.

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A Montgomery County jury last month awarded the estate of Ellen Gregory Robb more than $124 million in a “wrongful death” civil trial.  One hundred million of that was for punitive damages, an amount that Rafael Robb’s attorney calls “grossly excessive and arbitrary.”

But plaintiff’s attorney Robert Mongeluzzi doesn’t see it that way.

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“What I think is outrageous is that Rafael Robb intentionally slaughtered his wife,” Mongeluzzi tells KYW Newsradio, “and this Montgomery County jury sent a message that we will punish you for that.”

Robb is nearing the end of a 5-10 year sentence after pleading guilty to voluntary manslaughter.

He wants a civil retrial, claiming crime scene photos should have been kept out of the original trial because they inflamed the jury.  He also claims the jury was prejudiced when they saw his daughter surrounded by county detectives during her testimony.

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