Former police officer executed for hiring 2 people to kill his estranged wife amid divorce
01/11/2023 12:03 pm PST
HARRIS COUNTY, Texas (TCD) -- A 65-year-old former police officer was recently executed via lethal injection for hiring two people to fatally shoot his estranged wife in 1994.
The Harris County District Attorney’s Office announced that on Tuesday, Jan. 10, Robert Fratta was executed at the Texas State Penitentiary in Huntsville. Fratta was pronounced deceased 24 minutes after the lethal dose, at 7:49 p.m., The Associated Press reports.
When asked if he had a final statement, Fratta reportedly said "no."
Fratta, a public safety officer in Missouri City, plotted to kill his wife amid a divorce and custody battle over their three children, the District Attorney’s Office said.
According to the District Attorney’s Office, Robert Fratta hired Joseph Prystash to oversee the killing of his wife, 34-year-old Farah Fratta, and Prystash hired his neighbor, Howard Guidry, to carry out the shooting. On Nov. 9, 1994, Guidry fatally shot Fratta’s estranged wife in their family garage as she was returning home, the District Attorney’s Office said.
At the time of the fatal shooting, Fratta and his wife’s children were reportedly 3, 6, and 8 years old.
According to the District Attorney’s Office, Fratta was found guilty of capital murder and sentenced to death in 1996. However, after an appeal, he was given a retrial more than a decade later, in 2009. He was found guilty again and sentenced to death.
Robert Fratta’s son, Bradley Baquer, and Farah Fratta’s brother, Zain Baquer, were reportedly present for the execution.
Prystash and Guidry have not yet been scheduled for their executions but are currently on death row for the fatal shooting of Farah Fratta, KPRC-TV reports.
In a statement, Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said, "Robert Fratta showed that he was the worst of the worst through the cowardly act of hiring others to do his dirty work and then hiding behind his position of authority as a law-enforcement officer to try to escape responsibility."
According to The Associated Press, Fratta’s execution was the first in Texas this year and the second in the nation. There are reportedly eight other executions scheduled this year in Texas so far.
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