Professor to Be Freed 5 Years After Conviction for Wife's Murder

Convicted killer and former University of Pennsylvania professor Dr. Rafael Robb is about to be released from prison

By Deanna Durante and Karen Araiza
|  Thursday, Jan 17, 2013  |  Updated 5:51 AM CDT
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After spending five years in prison, convicted wife killer and former University of Penn professor Dr. Rafael Robb is about to be freed from prison.

NBC10 Philadelphia

After spending five years in prison, convicted wife killer and former University of Penn professor Dr. Rafael Robb is about to be freed from prison.

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Ellen Gregory Robb was murdered by her husband — beaten to death as she wrapped Christmas gifts in December of 2006. Dr. Rafael Robb, once a highly-regarded professor at the University of Pennsylvania, did it to avoid a costly divorce. Now, after spending just five years in prison, Robb, 61, is about to be paroled.

The victim's family is making a public plea in an interview with NBC 10 Philadelphia's Deanna Durante, saying the Pennsylvania Parole board is making a huge mistake by setting Dr. Robb free.

The victim's brother, Gary Gregory, remembers arriving at the crime scene. It was the day his sister was supposed to start a fresh life, he says, because she was leaving her husband.

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"I drove up to the house, I saw them loading her body in the ambulance." Gregory said he had no idea the abuse his sister suffered until she was killed. The family is appalled that the first time Dr. Robb was eligible for parole, it was granted.

"The judge said this is the most horrific crime ever in Montgomery County. Now he's being set free," Gregory said.

The attorney who represented Dr. Robb said he has served his time and now it's time for release.

The parole board will not comment on the case, aside from a written notice sent to Dr. Robb which outlines the reasons he's being freed. The statement says he's taken responsibility for his crime and has shown good behavior.

That's not good enough for Gregory, who says his sister is gone. He and his brothers are now raising Ellen's daughter. They want Dr. Robb to remain behind bars.

"This isn't a shoplifting case. He took someone's life. That's wrong."

Robb's release is schedule for Jan. 28. Gregory says he plans to give the parole board new information and has been working since his sister's death to educate others on the issue of domestic violence, and to keep his sister's memory alive.

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