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Former TX Police Officer Executed For Planning Wife's Murder

A former suburban Houston police officer was executed for hiring two people to kill his estranged wife nearly 30 years ago amid a contentious divorce and custody battle, reports the Associated Press. Robert Fratta, 65, received a lethal injection at the state penitentiary in Huntsville on Tuesday for the 1994 fatal shooting of his wife, Farah. For three minutes before the execution began, Fratta’s spiritual adviser, Barry Brown, prayed over Fratta, who was strapped to the death chamber gurney with intravenous needles in each arm.


Prosecutors say Fratta organized the murder-for-hire plot in which a middleman, Joseph Prystash, hired the shooter, Howard Guidry. Farah Fratta, 33, was shot twice in the head in her garage in the Houston suburb of Atascocita. Robert Fratta, who was a public safety officer for Missouri City, claimed he was innocent. His lawyers argued unsuccessfully that prosecutors withheld evidence that a trial witness had been hypnotized by investigators, leading her to change her initial recollection that she saw two men at the murder scene as well as a getaway driver. Prosecutors argued the hypnosis produced no new information and no new identification. They that Fratta had 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 get out, I’ll have my kids." Prystash and Guidry were also sent to death row for the slaying. Fratta was one of four Texas death row inmates who sued to stop the state from using what they allege are expired and unsafe execution drugs. That lawsuit also failed Tuesday.


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