In the midst of a controversial divorce and child custody dispute, a former suburban Houston police officer who hired two others to kill his estranged wife over 30 years ago was killed on Tuesday. At the state prison in Huntsville, Robert Fratta, 65, was given a lethal injection as punishment for shooting his wife Farah to death in November 1994. 24 minutes after the deadly dose of the potent sedative pentobarbital started running into his arms, he was declared dead at 7:49 PM. Read the full article below for more details about the case.
According to the prosecution, Robert Fratta planned the murder-for-hire scheme in which Howard Guidry, the gunman, was hired through an intermediary named Joseph Prystash. In the garage of her house in the Atascocita neighborhood of Houston, Farah Fratta, 33, was shot twice in the head. Public safety officer Robert Fratta of Missouri City had long maintained his innocence. Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected an appeal by Fratta’s attorneys asking them to stay the execution.
They had claimed that prosecutors had hidden proof that a trial witness had been hypnotized by detectives, changing her initial memory that she had seen two men at the crime scene along with a getaway driver. Fratta was strapped to the death chamber gurney with intravenous needles in each arm when Barry Brown, his spiritual advisor, prayed over him for roughly three minutes prior to the execution.
Brown called for prayers for “hearts that have been broken for persons who grieved and those who will grieve in the days ahead” while placing his prayer book on the cushion next to Fratta’s head and placing his right hand on Fratta’s right hand. “Be merciful to Bobby,” he prayed. The warden asked Fratta if he had a closing comment, to which Fratta answered, “No.”
As the fatal medicines started to take effect, Brown resumed his prayer while Fratta closed his eyes, took a deep breath, and snored loudly six times. Then all motion came to an end.
Legal records indicate that the couple was engaged in a contentious divorce and custody battle for their three children. According to court documents, Robert Fratta “asked many of his friends and acquaintances to kill her or to recommend someone who could kill her.” Most of his friends initially assumed that he was making jokes or venting, but as he talked about it more and more, some of them began to realize that he was serious. Stay tuned with Social Telecast for more updates.