Robert Fratta was in the middle of a contentious divorce. And custody battle when he hired two men to kill his estranged wife in 1994.
HUNTSVILLE, Texas – A former suburban Houston police officer was sentenced to death. Tuesday for hiring two men to kill his estranged. Wife nearly 30 years ago amid a contentious divorce and custody battle.
Robert Fratta, 65, received a lethal injection at the state. Penitentiary in Huntsville in November 1994 for fatally shooting his wife, Farah. He was declared dead at 7:49 pm.
Prosecutors said Robert Fratta. Organized the murder-for-hire plot in which a middleman, Joseph Priestash. hired shooter Howard Guidry. Robert Fratta, who was a public safety officer in Missouri City. Has long maintained that he is innocent.
The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected an appeal by Frater’s lawyers to halt the execution order. They argued that prosecutors withheld evidence. That a trial witness was hypnotized by investigators. Leading him to change his initial recollection that he saw two men at the scene of the murder. As well as a getaway driver.
“This would weaken the state’s case, which relies on just two men doing the deed. And linking Fratta to both,” Fratta’s lawyers wrote in their appeal.
Prosecutors argued that the hypnosis produced no new information and no new identification. They also said that Fratta repeatedly expressed his desire to see his wife dead. And asked several acquaintances. If they knew anyone who would kill her, telling one friend, “I’ll just kill her, and I’ll do my time and when.” I’m out, I’m going to have kids,” according to court records.
Fratta was one of four Texas death row inmates who sued to stop the state’s prison system from using expired. And unsafe execution drugs.
After Austin Civil Court Judge Catherine Mauzzi issued. A temporary injunction in the case that she believed had expired. And would prevent the state’s prison system from using the medically compromised pentobarbital. Drug Texas uses its lethal injection.
And the state Supreme Court rejected an appeal. Mauji’s order conflicted with an order last week by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. That barred him from issuing an order in the case that would have stopped any executions.
The Supreme Court and lower courts before rejected appeals by Fratta’s lawyers. That sought to review the argument’s claims of insufficient evidence. And flawed jury instructions to convict him. His attorneys also argued unsuccessfully that a juror in his case was not impartial. And that ballistics evidence did not tie him to the murder weapon.
The Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles last week unanimously. Declined to commute Fratta’s death sentence or a 60-day reprieve.
In the same ruling, the judge wrote that “the evidence at trial showed that Fratta was arrogant. Antisocial and despicable with a strong desire to kill his wife.”
Andy Kahan, director of victim services and advocacy for Crime Stoppers of Houston. Said Farrah Fratta’s father, Lex Bucker, who died in 2018, raised Robert. And Farrah Fratta’s three children with his wife. He said before the execution that he hoped it would be a way for them “to get on with their lives. And at least not have to think about him anymore. I think it will play an important role in their healing.”