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Robb Parole On Hold

After meeting with family members of murder victim Ellen Robb, the state parole board is said to be reconsidering a decision that would have made the former U. Penn professor a free man next week.

Update 11:05 a.m.: The state parole board has reportedly reversed its decision to parole Rafael Robb following yesterday's meeting with family members of Ellen Robb. A formal announcement is expected this afternoon.

Earlier story below.

Rafael Robb, the former University of Pennsylvania professor who bludgeoned his wife to death in their Upper Merion home in 2006, may yet remain behind bars.

The Pa. Board of Probation and Parole had previously approved Robb's release for next week, after Robb served the minimum portion of a 5-10 year sentence. Robb received the sentence following a plea agreement that saw him plead guilty to a voluntary manslaughter charge.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that members of victim Ellen Robb's family met with the chairman of the Pa. Board of Probation and Parole on Tuesday, and that Ellen Robb's brothers, Gary and Art Gregory, are "optimistic" that the board will reverse its decision.

As news of Robb's pending release emerged last week, Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Ferman, State Representative Mike Vereb, and other officials began to call on the Board of Probation and Parole to reconsider the decision. Vereb said the parole board had violated state law by failing to give Ellen Robb's family proper notice of the parole decision and by not permitting them to appear before the parole board as the parole was being considered.

The Inquirer reports that according to Vereb, the parole board's code conflicts with state law by not affording victims or their representatives the chance to oppose a parole.

A decision on Robb's parole is expected by Jan. 28.

Steven Kurcik January 23, 2013 at 03:06 PM
Did anyone see this story on The O'reilly Factor last night? If this guy is released it will be a disgrace to the Whole justice system. Do you know who the prosecutor was who agreed to a plea from this scum bag Robb? Our own wonderful Bruce Castor Jr. What a joke, and you want to run for Governor? This pos beat his wife to death with a crow bar and is serving 5-10 years. I am a republican, and I will support ANY democrat over you Bruce, and I will never vote for you at any level again. I would love to hear anyone defend him on this. Maybe he can get one of his criminal buddies like Mike Marino to defend him.
terry January 23, 2013 at 03:21 PM
Amazing. This POS was almost (and may still be) able to walk free after 5 years, after being convicted of a beating death so brutal that investigators initially thought the victim was shot point-blank in the face! There are inmates who are serving longer sentences for drug possession, burglary, tax evasion--a host of lesser crimes. Who in God's name calls this justice?
Steven Kurcik January 23, 2013 at 03:46 PM
Apparently Bruce Castor called it justice. I would love to see his reaction if it was a family member of his. I love how his name is not mentioned as the prosecutor in any of the articles. I call out ANYONE to defend his actions in this case.
John Scioli January 23, 2013 at 03:49 PM
I am of the belief if you can afford to get out of trouble then you should be made to assume every financial burden of the family you destroy. Good thing I'm just a barber . My values are a bit antiquated. If they let this guy out either some wacko will kill him or he will kill himself. I'm a cynical yet grateful man and I have seen the down side of karma.
John Scioli January 23, 2013 at 04:01 PM
I defend his actions Steven you loud mouth . Bruce Castor is a very respectable gentleman and civic minded member of the community. He helps a lot of people and you should not want to piss the wrong people off . You will get more bees with honey than with vinegar. I am on Main Street in Schwenksville and I am accepting your call out . Get off your soap box and practice a little humility with your hatred and banter . Do not slander the name of anyone I am friendly with . You will not fare well my friend .
John Scioli January 23, 2013 at 04:04 PM
We all have shortcomings in life . Why must you bear the burden of pointing out the failures of others . Look instead at GIS merit his merits not his flaws .
Lorraine613 January 23, 2013 at 04:13 PM
Why am I not surprised it was Bruce Castor? He took the easy way out. Plea bargain and brought this vicious murder down to a manslaughter charge?? Unbelievable! What I can't understand is how the parole board did not contact the family members. They should be registered to receive ALL updates and then they would have been notified way before this animal had his hearing.
steve foersch January 23, 2013 at 04:29 PM
John, i think you scared him,or hes on his way to Schewecksville on his hoveround
Marybeth Monaghan January 23, 2013 at 05:41 PM
So now we cannot express our opinions because we fear retribution? I just don't understand why a murderer got 5-10 years for a terrible bludgeoning murder...and why in the name of heaven a person who did such a thing can even be considered for parole? No political agenda...just want to trust the folks who grant parole...trust the the safety of the community is considered and that justice has been truly served.How did a murderer of this caliber not get life in prison?Someone please explain.How?
Steven Kurcik January 23, 2013 at 06:24 PM
You want to drag the kitten I resued off the Perkiomen trail into this, wow John you are a big man for that I am soo scared. I usually like the comments you add to an Article and I have been in your shop. I am not affraid of Bruce Castor or you, I live in America and am free. John, how would you like it if it was your mother, sister, aunt or friend who was killed and 5 years later the killer was about to be released. I am entitled to my opinion as you are. And I have told Bruce Castor to his face how I felt about his decision to back Mike Marino in the past. Who in my opinion was involved in covering up a murder to protect his nephew. I have talked with people who worked under Bruce and not everything I have heard was soo wonderful. But because of their jobs they don't say it publicly. You have the right to believe what you want.
John Scioli January 23, 2013 at 10:48 PM
I've had enough of my own loved ones killed . One becomes desensitized to violence when your life is so tragic. I'm having a rough day rough week I feel everybody is hard on each other . Lighten up . There are bigger things happening they are taking our rights from us be angry about that . They are destroying our Constitution. Why dwell on thiss we all know the folks in Harrisburg threw r out there . It is a ploy for control over the election. People especially Penn State folks are against Corbett. Don't trash people for their shortcomings. How about instead embrace Castor as a worthy candidate to run our state . I thought you were a bit audacious in your calling someone out . I'm well aware where this story originated . We all know how smear tactics are used before an election. Now this will be the topic of the day in some venues . Look I'm a very loyal very proud Constitutionalist. The climate in America as of late doesn't give me the feeling we are even America anymore.
John Scioli January 23, 2013 at 10:49 PM
I'm no stranger to sacrifice or suffering I took a bullet to the head. Stop in I will let ya feel the scar
Steven Kurcik January 23, 2013 at 11:41 PM
John, I will stop in and talk to you. I was asking about you last time I came in. I get passionate about things, and I will always include my name when I respond to something in the patch. I am not hiding from anyone and I know you always use your name also when you post. I would like to support Bruce, I give my time to some local politicans and was involved for four long years. I believe and trust the local people I am involved with, and I will tell you what I told them. When you get to the county and state level I don't trust any of them, because it is not about service to the people, it is how they make their living. Ethics seem to go out the window with these people, and I think that is one reason why our once proud country is in the shape it is in. If you took a bullet to the head serving your country, Thank You. I hope and pray your week gets better.
John Scioli January 24, 2013 at 02:06 AM
No not serving my country . Disservivicing my body .
Jack Minster January 24, 2013 at 04:48 PM
It's useful to remember that the business objective of O'Reilly, Stern, Maher, Limbaugh, Stewart, etc, is to generate controversy and sponsor $$. Evidently O'Reilly succeeded here in Montco. I'm a regular viewer. He is an author and entertainer - not a lawyer, not an investigative journalist. He spins a few select facts to generate a desired emotional response, in the case of killer Robb's parole: he sought to infuriate viewers and so he did. But rightly? Before pasting Bruce Castor into his segment, should O'Reilly have first contacted Bruce to warn him of what's coming and request a comment at the very least? Arm-chair quarterbacking of criminal trials should at least include the key players. Why drop this bomb on Bruce Castor without first learning all the facts of the trial? What was O'Reilly suggesting, that Bruce is too nice, too lenient; negligent or sloppy in some way? Look at his conviction record when he was DA; remember some of these monsters, recognize any names? They don't think he's too nice nor do their defense teams. Bruce, followed by Risa Vetri Ferman, hold the best conviction and performance records. Voters sometimes get things right. O'Reilly was sued by a woman for unwanted phone sex. He makes mistakes. Castor had one objective: to convict Robb. No mistake. Mission accomplished. Details about the defense team's case and all relevant facts - these we (and O'Reilly) don't know and should, before bashing Bruce.
AboveTheWeeds January 24, 2013 at 04:54 PM
Oh good ole Bruce takes shots at the Governor every day without asking the right questions and knowing all the facts. Maybe this is a case of the pot calling the kettle black? Takes one to know one? What's good for the goose is good for the gander? Bruce Gander...
Jack Minster January 24, 2013 at 05:14 PM
If anyone now takes shots at Governor Corbett over past decisions he made while Attorney General pursuing the Sandusky case - I would define those as arm-chair quarterbacking, uninformed, limited to opinion. Once elected Governor, every decision, every piece of legislation the Governor stamps, every move he makes falls in the public domain where all facts are available, and thus is open to both praise and criticism.
AboveTheWeeds January 24, 2013 at 05:23 PM
Oh Jack, don't let Bruce be the one that butters your bread. Don't hitch your train to his wagon. The man that calls Corbett out saying each and every move is political; isn't all of this posturing by Bruce political? Really? Come on. Bruce is a big boy now, he can handle all praise and criticism without having his minions threaten folks voicing their opinions (see the beginning of the thread).
Jack Minster January 24, 2013 at 05:39 PM
Not sure how to address you: Weeds? Let's go with that. You might try substituting butter, bread and wagons with fact, logic, self-evident morality and reasoning, when attempting to communicate, Weeds. Maybe say, "I just don't like Bruce Castor but sorry I can't give you one fact-based reason." Thinking people can accept that. Incidentally, the "folk" voicing his opinion at the top of this thread is a respected personal friend, also a public servant, and is entitled to his opinions. Threaten him? I don't think so, Weeds. Calm down. Think. Do you have any beefs about our Commissioner? Quantify them. No spin, just list them: 1, 2, 3...
AboveTheWeeds January 24, 2013 at 07:04 PM
Jack, from what I read, Mr. Scioli, a friend of "Mr Gander" most certainly laid veiled threats against Mr. Kurcik. You want me to quantify why I don't like Mr Gander? I work for the County and am involved in politics. I have known him for years. I could write a book about it. Let's go with 1. I know him. 2. I work for the County. 3. I am involved in politics. I say we salute Mr. Kurcik for standing up and sharing his thoughts while you and Mr. Scioli hitch yourselves to Mr Gander's imploding wagon.
Jack Minster January 24, 2013 at 07:13 PM
Weeds: that included zero substance. I see zero County tax increases, thank you Bruce. I see cooperation with Josh and Leslie the Democrat majority, thank you Bruce. What did he do to you personally or professionally? Substance, please. My taxes are funding your paychecks, therefore I feel you owe me substance.
AboveTheWeeds January 24, 2013 at 07:26 PM
I earn my paycheck and then some; I owe you nothing. Just don't keep yourself tied at the hip to Bruce. Not the best place to be.
AboveTheWeeds January 24, 2013 at 08:17 PM
PS Check your records, while you may enjoy no tax increase, find out how Mr Gander voted. You might be surprised.
Jack Minster January 24, 2013 at 08:50 PM
Weeds, you contradict yourself, saying you earn the money my taxes provide, yet here you are in the middle of a workday spinning unsubstantiated garbage. The Dec 6 budget vote was unanimous. The three commissioners did a good job with Shapiro doing a bit of chest-pounding in the press release on their website http://montcopa.org/montco/cwp/view,A,11,Q,88866.asp Weeds, please stop burning my money on blogs and go earn it. Money is the best effort of one man exchanged for the best effort of another. I am proud of Castor's best efforts, and ashamed of yours.
AboveTheWeeds January 24, 2013 at 09:31 PM
Jack, you made a poor assumption that today is a workday. Perhaps for you, but not for me. You know what they say about assume... PS You did not do a good job with your homework. You stopped a little short. http://uppermoreland.patch.com/articles/county-taxes-going-up-17-percent and if you don't like that one, try this one... http://articles.philly.com/2012-12-25/news/36000193_1_new-commissioners-leslie-s-richards-hoeffel
Jack Minster January 24, 2013 at 09:58 PM
Weeds, you do realize you just linked to the 2012 budget write-ups not 2013 as mentioned in this thread, don't you? If you truly followed the process, you would know that, outnumbered by tax and spend Hoeffel and Matthews, Castor cast more "NO" votes against the Hoeffel-Matthews pet project spending alliance than ALL commissioners combined in the county's history. But you don't follow it, so it's no surprise to find you overreaching. Since you are afraid to use your actual name, the county cannot know whether you are writing from home or cube, another moot point. Again, quantified complaints against Castor remain missing from your argument.
AboveTheWeeds January 24, 2013 at 10:28 PM
Jack, keep on talking. You are showing yourself a fool. When you go to your political events, sniff around. You're going to find that your Republican playmates aren't loving Bruce like they used to. His flame fixzles as his arrogance sizzles.
Jack Minster January 24, 2013 at 11:02 PM
Weeds, you keep on avoiding my Castor question. This is one-sided. I present facts, you respond with emotions. Annoying liberals with facts and logic, sometimes fun. But go ahead, you bore me, please enjoy the last word.
AboveTheWeeds January 25, 2013 at 03:08 AM
Ask the candidates who ran with them where they stand. He told them to go with him, play on his team, he would carry them across the finish line. The last candidate he carried across the finish line was his buddy, Jim Matthews. He was a good litigator. He's not a good politician.
Brittany Tressler (Editor) January 28, 2013 at 05:26 PM
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