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Texas

Robert Fratta’s accomplices remain on death row after his execution

Two other men were convicted of killing Farah Fratt in 1994. Howard Guidry and Joseph Pristash remain on death row.

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas. On January 10, the state of Texas executed Robert Fratta for the 1994 murder of his wife Farah, but two of his accomplices remain on death row. Neither Howard Guidry nor Joseph Pristash set a date for the execution.

“I have seen the pain on the face of this family, as I have in any other family, and we will see that justice will be served in all cases,” Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said after the execution of Robert Fratta.

Ogg vowed that other occasions would not be forgotten.

The first clue to Farah’s involvement in the murder came from 911 records.

911 caller: “A car just pulled up, the suspect is behind a tree. He doesn’t see me, my lights are off, but a car has just pulled up…”

Howard Guidry, aged 18 at the time, was the first to be arrested following an unrelated bank robbery. In his car, investigators found the gun they believed Farah had been used to kill.

They said Guidry was the curator. But the story didn’t stop there. What was actually arrested was one of Robert Fratta’s training buddies, Pristash. Investigators said he was driving the getaway car and it was he who forced Guidry to carry out the attack for $1,000 in cash, which was later found in Robert Fratta’s car.

“An accomplice in instigation of capital murder is incredibly rare,” says KHOU 11 legal expert Carmen Roe. “The 90s were a completely different time period, and at that time, Harris County executed more prisoners than any state in the entire country, with the exception of perhaps two.”

The options the jurors had were not the same as they are today. Life without parole was impossible.

“There wasn’t much knowledge, like you couldn’t inspect the death chamber,” Rowe said. “All this was open to the public and the media for the sake of transparency.”

While Fratta’s case is unusual, Rowe also notes that he was incredibly nefarious.

“I think many in the community believe that the death penalty was justified not only for Robert Fratta, but also for his accomplices,” Rowe said.

Both Guidry and Pristash have appealed their sentences but remain on death row awaiting their execution date.

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