Former professor in prison for murder denied parole

Parole board calls Rafael Robb a “risk to the community" after he was given a parole notice Nov. 8

· January 23, 2013, 11:05 pm

Former Penn professor Rafael Robb will not be granted parole from prison next week after all, according to the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole.

Robb, who has been in prison since 2007 for killing his wife, Ellen, was originally set to be released on Monday. Robb will now not be paroled until at least September 2014, according to the decision released by the parole board on Wednesday.

According to the decision, Robb remains a “risk to the community.” It also noted that “the negative recommendation of the trial judge,” Paul Tressler, against Robb’s parole had an impact on the decision.

Robb pled guilty in 2007 to voluntary manslaughter in connection with beating his wife to death with a chin-up bar in December 2006. The next year, he was sentenced to five to 10 years in prison.

The decision comes a day after a meeting between board chair Michael Potteiger and Ellen Robb’s brother, Gary Gregory. After that meeting, the board announced that it would reconsider Rafael Robb’s parole, which had been scheduled for Jan. 28.

The decision not to parole Robb also comes after weeks of heavy lobbying from Ellen Robb’s family, as well as Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Ferman, State Rep. Mike Vereb and Tressler.

Robb was given his original parole notice on Nov. 8, but the victim’s family was not notified until nearly two months later.

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