Texas resident, Ezekiel Gilbert, was acquitted of the murder of Craigslist escort, Lenora Ivie Frago, Wednesday by a Bexar County jury. Deliberations lasted almost eleven hours.
Gilbert admitted to shooting Frago in the neck after she refused to have sex with him in exchange for $150.00. The shooting was an attempt to retrieve the money which she intended to keep. According to Gilbert’s defense team, the action became theft “when she refused to have sex with him or give the money back.” Testimony provided indicated Frago would not return the money because it had been given to her driver, who was presumed to be her pimp. Texas law allows the use of “deadly force to recover property during a nighttime theft.”
In his sworn testimony Gilbert “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.” In other words, and by Gilbert’s own admission, he believed sex was included, therefore the $150 was for sex, not for accompaniment. That is, he shot and paralyzed her because he believe himself to be the victim of a scam. Seven months after being paralyzed, Frago died.
Another way of interpreting the facts of the case are: Texas law allows you to shoot an escort or prostitute, even kill them, if you they do not complete the transaction yet keep the money. If you are in the middle of a drug deal and one party refuses to return money paid for inferior product–and it is dark outside–the second party can use deadly force to get the money back. What it boils down to is an offended party may kill another party for theft even if the theft is associated with an illegal act as long as it is nighttime. And, in a strange application of the law, Gilbert was allowed to kill Frago because she refused to commit an illegal act, ie, sex for money.
In Texas at least one woman is worth $150, no more. If Gilbert had negotiated down before shooting Frago the value of her life would have been even less. Had he negotiated forcefully enough maybe the entire thing would have been a misdemeanor.
In Texas at least one man is allowed to kill a woman based on something he believed constituted a transaction. The lack of a refund, in the eyes of the jury, constituted theft, and, in the eyes of the state, sufficient cause for being shot and killed.
Sex is expensive but life is cheap in Texas.