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Montco judge denies motion in beating death

A Montgomery County judge has denied a former University of Pennsylvania economics professor's motion to reconsider his prison sentence in the beating death of his wife.

Rafael Robb of Upper Merion was sentenced to five to 10 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter in the death of Ellen Robb.

At sentencing on Nov. 19, Montgomery County Court Judge Paul W. Tressler said he had been offended by a letter Robb wrote to his own teenage daughter. Tressler cited that as a reason for not imposing a lesser penalty. In the letter, Robb told his daughter that she would not receive a holiday gift unless she sent him a photo and copy of her report card.

Defense attorney Frank DeSimone said he filed the motion to reconsider on the last day to appeal in order to preserve Robb's right.

- Mari A. Schaefer