CrimeSupreme Court rejects appeal from former Missouri City cop on death row

05:55  09 january  2019
05:55  09 january  2019 Source:   chron.com

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A former Missouri City police officer now on Texas death row lost out on a federal appeal Tuesday, bringing him one step closer to the death chamber. Now, Guidry, is still fighting his case in state court . Prystash lost out in the U.S. Supreme Court earlier this year. None of the men have execution

The Missouri Department of Public Safety reports 59-year-old Jeffrey Ferguson has died by a lethal injection of pentobarbital at the Eastern Reception, Diagnostic and Correctional Center in Bonne Terre. The State Supreme Court is continuing with its one-execution-a-month schedule.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday turned down an appeal from a former Missouri City police officer convicted of hiring a hitman to kill his wife, one of two Houston-area death row losses in the high court this week.

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The argument has been rejected by the supreme court in other death penalty cases. Edlund said the killing was haunting for several reasons, chiefly because she was a child and a random target. Her father was a former reserve officer with the police department, and her uncle was a Kansas City officer.

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Though he has consistently maintained his innocence, Robert Fratta was sentenced to death in 1996 after a Harris County jury found him guilty of masterminding a murder-for-hire plot designed to do away with his wife Farah.

"I'm completely innocent of my wife Farah's death," Fratta wrote in an appeal he filed himself, alleging he was framed by his slain wife's father. "The evidence was also legally insufficient. Yet here I set on Texas Death Row awaiting execution unless this Court intervenes."

Robert and Farah Fratta were embroiled in a heated divorce and custody battle when the 34-year-old mother was shot in the head while stepping out of her car at their home.

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The Supreme Court of Missouri is the highest court in the state of Missouri . It was established in 1820 and is located at 207 West High Street in Jefferson City , Missouri . Missouri voters have approved changes in the state's constitution to give the Supreme Court exclusive jurisdiction- the

The ex-officer and erstwhile firefighter was at church at the time, but investigators flagged him as a suspect in part because he'd reportedly asked around for a hitman before the crime. In the end, prosecutors said, he hired Joseph Prystash, who in turn hired a third man to carry out the killing. All three men are now on death row.

READ MORE: Former Missouri City cop on death row denied federal appeal

Written from a prison typewriter, the appeal the court declined to review on Monday raised a slew of questions including everything from claims about allegedly ineffective lawyers to insufficiency of the evidence used to convict him and problems with jury instructions during his trial.

But at the heart of the claim are questions about whether Fratta was allowed to file his own appeals in tandem with attorneys' filings - something lower courts did not let him do, repeatedly ignoring some of the claims he filed himself.

"The rule of law is taking another hit," said attorney James Rytting, who represents the condemned former officer. "Robert Fratta's trial was deeply flawed, (he) proved that himself and was penalized for figuring out serious problems with his trial on his own and for trying to bring them to the courts' attention."

In addition to turning down Fratta's case, the court declined to review the conviction of Shelton Jones, who was convicted of the 1991 killing Houston police officer Bruno D. Soboleski.

Neither Jones nor Fratta has an execution date set.

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