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Cop-turned-killer Robert Fratta executed for hiring teenage hitman to kill his wife in 1994

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals lifted the injunction by a Travis County judge that was based on claims the state is using expired drugs.

Michelle Homer, Grace White, Chloe Alexander

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Published: 2:23 PM CST January 10, 2023
Updated: 10:11 PM CST January 10, 2023

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. 


NOW ON KHOU 11+: Hear the 911 call from a neighbor the night Farah Fratta was killed and see the police interrogation video of Robert Fratta the following day.  Get KHOU 11+ for free on Roku and FireTV


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. 

Justice would be a long time coming for Farah Fratta's loved ones. Thirteen years after she was killed, her husband's conviction was overturned because of inadmissible evidence. 

During a 2009 retrial, the couple's children -- who were then young adults -- testified against their father, and Fratta was convicted and sentenced to death again. 

After 26 years on death row, a judge finally scheduled his execution date. On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court denied a request to stop the execution.

The couple's oldest son, Bradley Baquer and Farah's brother Zain Baquer will be in Huntsville to finally see justice. Victim's advocate Andy Kahan will also be there, along with KHOU 11 reporter Grace White. A spiritual advisor will be the only witness on Robert Fratta's behalf. 

The execution will come too late for Farah Fratta's father, who died in 2018. 

WARNING: Contains graphic content and language

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