Texas

Who will witness the execution of Robert Fratta

Farah Fratt’s family members, along with victim lawyer Andy Kahan and social worker Judy Cox, will witness the execution.

HUNTSVILLE, Texas. A man is due to die on Tuesday for hiring a hit man to kill his wife.

Farah Fratta, a mother of three, was gunned down at her home in Atascochita in 1994.

KHOU 11 studied court records, interrogation videos and emergency service recordings to better understand the murder and why her husband was convicted of her murder.

In the records of the Harris County Courthouse, we found an emergency call dated November 9, 1994.

Dispatcher: 911, what’s your emergency?

Caller: Yes, I just saw shooting.

Dispatcher: Okay, do you know if anyone has been shot?

Caller: The lady is in the garage, she was shot twice, she was shot.

It was Farah, aged 33, who was going through a bitter custody battle over her three children. In the video of the police interrogation, her husband Robert Fratta claimed that he did not kill his wife because he would have received more money if she had been alive.

Interviewer: You arranged the murder of your wife?

Fratta: No, I didn’t. I’ll say that too. I mean if something happens to her. It’s one of the things I thought about on the way here. Like, what the hell am I supposed to do now? I mean, I filed for custody, I also relied on her to pay me $600 or $700 a month in child support.

Fratta denied this and turned on the charm in front of the camera, but he was still charged with murder by investigators.

“I remember… it was your station and they had this incredible close-up of him winking at the camera and I never saw the defendant smile,” said Andy Kahan, a lawyer for the victims who was present at the trial.

Fratta was a police officer and firefighter in Missouri City who, according to Kahan, knew how to operate the system.

“It was incomprehensible to think that someone with a background like that would actually be held responsible and find out that he was asking many, many people – anywhere from 8 to 10 people – if they could get his wife out,” Kahan said.

It was Fratta’s eldest son who testified to having been in church with his father on the night of the murder. Calling into question what Fratta hoped might be his alibi.

“Even though he was with the kids, he spent most of his time on the phone outside of the church, basically confirming everything, and he also had money that he was going to pay off with murder for hire,” Kahan said.

Judy Cox was a social worker who worked with Fratta’s children and attended his visits after the murder.

“It was devastating, devastating, and he got through it, and I think he now knows that his testimony was vital,” Cox said of Fratta’s oldest child’s testimony.

In 1996, Fratta was sentenced to death. Farah’s parents decided that they would raise the children and even changed their last name to cut all ties.

However, in 2009, Fratta faced a new trial. The confessions of two of his accomplices were denied and the family was forced to start over. But after hearing all the evidence, the verdict was the same. Fratta returned to death row.

At the request of Farah’s family, Cox and Kahan will be with them to witness the execution.

“Bradley even still calls me Miss Judy, he says: “Miss. Judy, I want you there,” Cox said.

She said she did not expect Fratta to show remorse.

“No, he is a narcissist. They don’t apologize,” she said.

Fratta declined our request for an interview, but filed a lawsuit in an attempt to stop the execution. He argued, like other death row inmates, that the drugs Texas uses were outdated.

We contacted the Texas Department of Criminal Justice and the spokesman told us, “All lethal drugs are within their limits of use and have been tested accordingly.”

The U.S. Supreme Court also refused to stay Fratte’s execution.

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