Texas executes former Missouri City public safety officer for 1994 murder of estranged wife

HUNTSVILLE, Texas – Robert “Bob” Fratta was executed in Huntsville Tuesday for the 1994 murder of his estranged wife, Farah Fratta. He gave no final statement and never acknowledged his oldest son, Bradley Baquer, or Farah Fratta’s brother, Zain Baquer, who witnessed the execution.

“He was a coward in 1994 and 28-plus years later, he still was a coward,” said Andy Kahan, director of victim services for Houston Crimestoppers. “He still chose the coward’s way out. He could have said ‘I’m sorry.’”

Bob Fratta was first convicted in 1996 of hiring two men to kill Farah Fratta. The couple was locked in a contentious divorce and custody battle over their three children.

Testimony revealed Bob’s intensifying sexual appetites prompted the divorce.

Court records show Bob was angry over the divorce and asked numerous people if they knew anyone who would kill Farah. Prosecutors said he eventually hired Jospeh Prystah and Howard Guidry.

“Farah Fratta’s life was negotiated down to a thousand dollars and a car. For this, she was murdered,” said Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg.

Bob’s first conviction was overturned when Guidry and Prystash’s confessions were ruled inadmissible by an appeals court. His 2009 retrial ended with him again being convicted of capital murder and he again received the death penalty.

Bob’s spiritual advisor was with him in the execution chamber, touched his hand, and prayed during the procedure.

“I pray tonight you will be merciful to Bobby and forgive him,” spiritual advisor Barry Brown said in prayer.

Kahan was with Farah Fratta’s family in Huntsville during the execution. Kahan said he was fulfilling a promise he made to Farah’s father Lex Baquer before he died in 2018.

“I made him a promise when his health was failing that I would be here today and I just want Lex to know that we honored your promise and finally we got justice for your beautiful daughter,” said Kahan.

Prystash and Guidry are both on death row for Farah’s murder but their execution dates have not been scheduled. Ogg could not say when those dates may be set because each case works its way through the system individually. Ogg did say she would ensure justice is served in these cases as well.

Statement from Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg on the execution of Robert Fratta:

“Robert Fratta was executed Tuesday at the Texas State Penitentiary at Huntsville for the capital murder of his wife, Farah Fratta.

Two juries, one in 1996 and another in a re-trial in 2009, found Robert Fratta guilty of hiring two men to kill his wife, and both juries sentenced him to death,” Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said. “Robert Fratta showed that he was the worst of the worst through the cowardly act of hiring others to do his dirty work and then hiding behind his position of authority as a law-enforcement officer to try to escape responsibility.

Fratta, a public safety officer in Missouri City, masterminded the plot to kill his wife because the two were divorcing and were going through a bitter custody battle over their three children. Fratta hired an acquaintance, Joseph Prystash, to coordinate the murder. Prystash then hired his neighbor, Howard Guidry, who fatally shot 34-year-old Farah Fratta in her garage as she arrived home on Nov. 9, 1994. The couple’s children were 3, 6 and 8 when their mother was killed.

Robert Fratta was convicted of capital murder and sentenced to death in 1996. After a successful appeal, he received a re-trial and was again sentenced to death in 2009.”


About the Author:

Award winning investigative journalist who joined KPRC 2 in July 2000. Husband and father of the Master of Disaster and Chaos Gremlin. “I don’t drink coffee to wake up, I wake up to drink coffee.”