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Houston Court Rejects Death Penalty Appeal

DC Sniper John Allen Muhammad Executed In Virginia
Photo by Virginia Department of Corrections via Getty Images

HOUSTON (AP) — A former suburban Houston police officer sent to death row for hiring two hit men to kill his estranged wife has lost an appeal at Texas’ highest appeals court.

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals agreed Wednesday with the Harris County trial judge in the case of 56-year-old Robert Fratta who rejected Fratta’s challenges to his conviction and death sentence.

Fratta is a former Missouri City officer convicted twice of masterminding the 1994 shooting death of his wife, Farah. His first conviction in 1996 was thrown out by a federal judge. Fratta was retried and convicted again in 2009.

Two other men, Joseph Prystash, the middleman Fratta hired to find someone to do the killing, and triggerman Howard Guidry, also are on death row for Farah Fratta’s slaying.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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