ezekiel-gilbert

A Bexar County, Texas jury on Wednesday acquitted Ezekiel Gilbert of murder in the death of a 23-year-old Craigslist escort.

Gilbert, 30, embraced defense attorneys Bobby Barrera and Roy Barrera Sr. with tears in his eyes after the not guilty verdict was read aloud by state District Judge Mary Román.

Outside the courtroom, Gilbert thanked God, the Barrera family and the jury for being able to “see what wasn’t the truth” and for the “second chance.”

Had he been convicted, he could have faced up to life in prison for the slaying of Lenora Ivie Frago who died about seven months after she was shot in the neck and paralyzed on Christmas Eve 2009. Gilbert admitted shooting Frago.

“I sincerely regret the loss of the life of Ms. Frago,” Gilbert said Wednesday. “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.”

The verdict came after almost 11 hours of deliberations that stretched over two days. The trial began May 17 but had a long hiatus after a juror unexpectedly had to leave town for a funeral.

During closing arguments Tuesday, Gilbert’s defense team conceded the shooting did occur but said the intent wasn’t to kill. Gilbert’s actions were justified, they argued, because he was trying to retrieve stolen property: the $150 he paid Frago. It became theft when she refused to have sex with him or give the money back, they said.

Gilbert testified earlier Tuesday that he had found Frago’s escort ad on Craigslist and believed sex was included in her $150 fee. But instead, Frago walked around his apartment and after about 20 minutes left, saying she had to give the money to her driver, he said.

That driver, the defense contended, was Frago’s pimp and her partner in the theft scheme.

The Texas law that allows people to use deadly force to recover property during a nighttime theft was put in place for “law-abiding” citizens, prosecutors Matt Lovell and Jessica Schulze countered. It’s not intended for someone trying to force another person into an illegal act such as prostitution, they argued.

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  • Fredsan

    Ok Bereal, let me ask you this, suppose the shooter was a black dude? Would he have walked? Hell No!!!

  • leelah

    If she didn’t have a weapon then he didn’t need to shoot her. And she spent 20 mins. in the house with him, maybe she danced for him but decided she didn’t want to have sex with him. Obviously, he’s a violent nut job if he thinks its reasonable to shoot someone over money that the person had in their hands and she was trying to get in the car. He chased this woman, which I think is a little different than someone trying to mug him.–This case sets a bad precedence, will all disputes over money end this way in the great state of Texas?

  • RaiseTheBar

    Theft and Robbery are Synonymous!

    Reason This:
    It is “MURDER” when her death was the result of being shot by him for refusing to engage in the “ILLEGAL Act” of sex for pay (i.e., Prostitution) after he paid her $150.

    The use of deadly force (a firearm) is “Intent” enough for “MURDER” when the end result is death.

    She paid for her part in the Crime which was DEATH.

    He should be paying for the Murder, Homicide, Manslaughter of this woman. He should be found “GUILTY” and sentenced to time in prison.

  • ScriptTease

    LORD HAVE MERCY ON US… NO ONE IS SAFE!!!

  • ScriptTease

    I wonder the race of the Woman????