Mel Evans/AP
January 30, 2015 02:30 PM

Robert O. Marshall has spent 30 years in prison for the contract killing of his wife Maria – and his sons are fighting to keep him there.

The insurance broker, who was arrested in December 1984, will meet with the New Jersey State Parole Board in March, according to the Asbury Park Press.

But he’s not getting out if his two sons Christopher, 48, and Roby, 49, have anything to say about it. Next month, they will travel to Trenton to plead their case against their dad.

“We’re going to stand up and defend our mom,” Christopher told the APP in an exclusive interview. “We’re going there in person to send a clear message. We believe going there in person is the most compelling way to make our case.”

The announcement of Robert’s possible release has outraged local residents. Almost 50 have written the board urging them to keep the killer, now 75, behind bars, the APP reports.

“Hang the bastard,” Wilma DeFazio wrote. “No, that’s too good – let him suffer.”

Robert’s notorious case was the subject of the bestselling book Blind Faith, which was adapted into an Emmy-nominated TV miniseries starring Robert Urich.

“We feel he should stay in [prison] – forever,” Christopher said.

But those aren’t the feelings of Robert’s youngest son, 44-year-old John, who has always believed in his father’s innocence and keeps in touch with him to this day.

Christopher told the local paper that he’s not sure what he would do if John opened his home to their father, should he be released.

Maria was just 42 years old when she died. Robert was convicted of arranging to have her killed in a murder-for-hire plot so he could collect a $1.5 million life insurance policy he’d taken out on her.

Vowed Christopher: “Roby and I – we’re going to do everything we possibly can to keep my dad behind bars.”

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