A former University of Pennsylvania professor who bludgeoned his wife to death as she wrapped holiday gifts inside their Montgomery County home is trying to gain access to his money upon his scheduled release from prison next month.
Rafael Robb will be released Jan. 8 on a 10-year sentence for killing Ellen Robb inside their King of Prussia home in 2006.
The 66-year-old former economics professor leaves prison went to Montgomery County court Tuesday to ask for $100,000 from his frozen assets to pay for costs of living upon his release. He pleaded guilty in 2008 to voluntary manslaughter and agreed to a 10-year sentence with time served added in.
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Robb’s $2.8 million retirement savings account remains frozen as he appeals a $124-million ruling owed to the estate of his dead wife – that money is set to go to the couple’s daughter, Olivia, now in her 20s.
Attorneys and prosecutors have long alleged that Robb stashed cash and assets overseas in an attempt to shield them from any civil rulings.
After discrepancies in Robb’s testimony Tuesday over disclosure of overseas assets, Robb’s legal team withdrew its petition to access some money, said attorney Andrew Duffy of Philadelphia law firm Saltz, Mongeluzzi, Barrett & Bendesky who represents Ellen Robb’s estate.
The court confirmed that Robb withdrew the request. It was unclear if he would attempt again to get access to the frozen funds prior to his Jan. 8 release.
NBC10 didn’t immediately receive a call back from Robb's attorney, Eric D. Levin.
Ellen Robb was about to leave the marriage when he husband killed her in what he claims was a fit a rage. The violent and bloody details of the slaying were never revealed in trial because Robb was able to plead guilty to voluntary manslaughter. At 2014 civil proceedings, however, details came out.
Robb admitted he killed his wife and then tried to convince police it was a robbery. The damage to Ellen’s face, head and skull was so severe detectives initially thought she was the victim of a blast from a high-powered rifle.
The defense argued the murder was a crime of passion — that Ellen pushed Rafael during an argument, and he was so enraged he grabbed an exercise bar nearby and beat her to death.