Former Economics professor and convicted murderer Rafael Robb cannot access over $3 million in assets and retirement benefits, a municipal court judge ruled today. That money will remain with his daughter Olivia who comprises her mother's estate.
Robb, who was convicted in 2007 for killing his wife, Ellen Gregory, argued that his wife's family could not access his $2 million-plus pension and individual retirement accounts because they were not in jointly-held accounts.
The Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas disagreed.
Before her death on Dec. 22, 2006, Gregory was planning to divorce Robb, according to court papers.
"If Ellen had not been murdered, the divorce would have proceeded and in due course she would have been entitled to a portion of those funds," Judge Thomas M. DelRicci wrote in the opinion of the Court.
The Court ruled against Robb in accordance with the Pennsylvania Slayer's Act, which prevents convicted murderers from accruing property as the result of their actions.
The decision caps a landmark victory for Olivia Robb, who was awarded $124.4 million in a November 2014 civil lawsuit. That settlement was the largest contested personal injury verdict in Pennsylvania legal history.
According to court documents, Robb had used his control over Olivia's finances to coerce his daughter into supporting his efforts at parole. She testified in the 2014 case that she "feared her father's release from prison," but was forced to contact him because he paid for her finances.
Olivia rejected an entreaty from her father to write a letter on his behalf to the Pennsylvania Parole Board that would have urged for his release from jail after five years. He later threatened to stop supporting her financially.
"All we ever wanted – since her savage killing in 2006 - was justice for Ellen. This is a big step in that direction," Gary Gregory, Ellen's brother, said in a statement. "He showed Ellen no mercy and, for the sake of Ellen and so many other victims of domestic violence, he deserves none in return.”
The Gregory family will "vehemently oppose" Robb's next request for parole on his 10-year sentence, according to a press release, which is set to be argued next month.
Robb's attorney was unavailable for comment on Thursday night.
Please note All comments are eligible for publication in The Daily Pennsylvanian.