Texas Man Acquitted after Killing Woman who Refused Sex after he Paid Her
A Texas man who hired a female escort and fatally shot her after she refused to have sex with him has been acquitted of murder.
Ezekiel Gilbert found Lenora Ivie Frago through her listing on Craigslist. Although the advertisement said nothing about the escort providing sexual services for $150, Gilbert expected to have intercourse with the 23-year-old woman after paying her the money on Christmas Eve 2009.
Instead, Frago left Gilbert’s home, where he confronted her and her driver, Christopher Perkins, and demanded his money back. Perkins explained to Gilbert that he had hired Frago for 30 minutes of her time, not sex.
Enraged, Gilbert pulled out a handgun and opened fire four times at Frago and Perkins as they drove away. A bullet struck Frago at the base of the skull, paralyzing her. She died about seven months later as the result of the shooting.
Gilbert was charged with murder. He admitted to shooting Frago, but his legal defense argued that Gilbert’s actions were justified because under Texas law, a person can use deadly force to recover property during a nighttime theft of the commission of “criminal mischief.”
Prosecutors insisted the law did not apply to someone trying to force another person into an illegal act such as prostitution. But the jury sided with Gilbert, who avoided a possible life sentence in prison.
“I sincerely regret the loss of the life of Ms. Frago,” Gilbert said after the verdict, according to the San Antonio Express-News. “I've been in a mental prison the past four years of my life. I have nightmares. If I see guns on TV where people are getting killed, I change the channel.”
To Learn More:
Jury Acquits Escort Shooter (by Michelle Mondo and Sam Peshek, San Antonio Express-News)
Why Ezekiel Gilbert’s Acquittal Proves the Lunacy of Texas’s Gun Laws (by Kurt Eichenwald, Vanity Fair)
Justifiable Homicides Double in a Decade (by Noel Brinkerhoff and David Wallechinsky, AllGov)
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