Robert Fratta case: Ex-Texas cop to be executed Jan.10

Former Missouri City police officer Robert Fratta was executed Tuesday, making him the first person in the state of Texas to be executed in 2023.

Fratta was put to death for hiring a teenage hitman to kill Farrah Fratta, his estranged wife, in 1994. He made no final statement despite his oldest son being present and Farah’s brother. 

“Bob was a coward in 1994 when he arranged the murder-for-hire of his estranged wife,” said Crime Stoppers’ Andy Kahan who was a witness to the execution. “He was a coward in 1994 and 28 years plus later he still was a coward tonight when he was offered an opportunity to at least extend an olive branch to his son that he knew was watching. This as well as Farrah’s brother and he still chose the coward way out.”

KHOU 11 News Reporter Grace White was another witness to the execution and said before lethal drugs were given to Fratta a spiritual advisor put his hand over Fratt’s right hand and prayed. 

His time of death was 7:49 p.m.  

“Robert and Farrah had three children. One of them was here tonight,” said Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg. “Fratta never apologized. There was no question about his guilt. Two separate juries tried him, convicted him and sentenced him to death and tonight justice was had.”

The execution of Fratta was stalled for more than an hour after a Travis County judge tried to stop the execution based on claims the state is using expired drugs, but the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals vacated the injunction, allowing the execution to move forward. 

On Sunday, Fratta was playing the victim as his execution date approached.

Fratta, now 65, told Death Penalty Action executive director Abraham Bonowitz Sunday night that he’s “kind of ready to go” because the waiting has been “ridiculously tormenting.”

“Knowing the day and time that you’re gonna die and it’s just prolonged, and everything that we get put through beforehand, this is torture,” Fratta said. “I’m just tired of 27 years of suffering.”

During two capital murder trials, prosecutors said Fratta gave the 18-year-old triggerman $1,000 to kill Farah Fratta, the mother of his three children.

Prosecutors painted Robert Fratta as a sexual deviant who was motivated by a messy divorce, a bitter custody battle and money from an insurance policy. 

In 1996, it took jurors less than an hour to convict Fratta and they sentenced him to death. He showed no emotion but family members from both sides wept.

After the trial, Farah’s father, Lex Baquer, said it had been especially hard on the couple’s children.

“The young girl, she still asks for her mother. ‘Mommy, I love you, Mommy. I miss you, Mommy,'” Lex said. “‘I know you’re in heaven, and someday when I die, I will meet you in heaven.'”  

“I cannot wait for the day when I see him laying on that table, waiting to get the injection. That will be justice for me,” Farah’s mom, Betty Baquer, said after the first trial. 

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