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Penn Professor Who Beat His Wife To Death Denied Early Release

By Jim Melwert

NORRISTOWN, Pa. (CBS) — A former Penn professor who beat his wife to death while she was wrapping Christmas presents will serve his full prison term after his final request for an early release was denied by the state parole board, in part, thanks to a state law that was crafted by the work of the victim's family.

Rafael Robb pleaded guilty in 2007 to killing his wife, Ellen Gregory Robb, in their Upper Merion home, and was sentenced to 5-10 years in prison in a deal that still rankles the victim's family.

"Which was compounded further when Rafael Robb was about to be granted freedom after serving only five full years of the 5-10 year sentence."

Ellen's brother Gary Gregory says then-DA Risa Ferman and State Rep Mike Vereb stepped in to convince the parole board to reverse their decision.

"And Mike Vereb didn't stop on the rescind of the parole, he went further and created a law that has impacted thousands of people's lives."

That law gives victims or victim's families the right to go before the parole board.

Vereb says he's thankful he could help the Gregory family keep Robb in prison for his full prison term, which will end early next year.

"Not so thankful for the fact this man's getting out because it's probably one of the worst deals ever in the history of the criminal justice system in Pennsylvania."

Robb's sentence will be up in January of next year.

Gregory says Ellen's family will continue to work in her memory,


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