Vereb, Ferman Urge PA Board of Probation and Parole to Reconsider Parole of Rafael Robb
NORRISTOWN — Twenty-four hours after issuing an open letter to the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole regarding the Jan. 28 release date of self-confessed wife-killer Rafael Robb, Rep. Mike Vereb (R-Montgomery) today joined Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman urging the board to convene for a new parole hearing to listen to the testimony from the family of the murder victim Ellen Robb, as required by law.
Rafael Robb, in 2007, pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter in connection to the death of his wife and child’s mother, following a plea deal negotiated between his attorney and county prosecutors, led by former District Attorney Bruce L. Castor Jr. One year later, Mr. Robb was ultimately sentenced to the maximum penalty under the guidelines — five to 10 years in prison.
After Vereb’s initial open letter sent to the board on Jan. 17, he was contacted by Gary Gregory, the brother of Ellen Robb, who was present at today’s news conference.
“I was absolutely astonished and disgusted to hear how the family of this murder victim was treated during the parole process,” said Vereb, who today issued another open letter to the board.
In his letter, Vereb stated that according to Title 18 PS sections 11.501 and 11.502 of Pennsylvania state law, victims or their immediate family must be notified no later than 90 days prior to the parole date of an offender.
Furthermore, the law states that the victim or victim’s family are to be permitted to appear in person before the board or hearing examiner or, in the alternative, the victim’s testimony may be presented by a conference call.
“While the family was notified, it was clearly less than 90 days in advance of the parole date for Rafael Robb. In addition, the family’s request to address the board directly as stated in section 11.502 (b), was rejected,” said Vereb.
“The unspeakably brutal killing of Ellen Robb stands out as the worst manslaughter case I have ever seen. Every sentence in Pennsylvania has a minimum and a maximum. The maximum is reserved for the worst offenders. Rafael Robb is just that,” said Ferman. “This violent, despicable and intentional killing warrants the maximum sentence allowed under the law. In this case, 10 years was the maximum, and Mr. Robb deserves to spend every day of those 10 years behind bars.”
“The fact that the family of the victim was denied their opportunity to be heard by the Parole Board is an embarrassment to the Commonwealth,” Ferman added. “Our parole and probation officials have a legal and moral obligation to listen to victims’ families before unleashing violent offenders back into our community.”
To read Vereb’s open letters to the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole, visit his website at www.RepVereb.com
and follow the link “Open Letters to the PA Board of Board of Probation and Parole.”
Representative Mike Vereb
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Lauren Whetzel