Planner in murder-for-hire case loses federal appeal

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Published 12:52 pm, Wednesday, April 26, 2017

An auto mechanic convicted of plotting the murder-for-hire of the wife of a former police officer in exchange for a Jeep has lost a federal appeal.

The U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected claims by Joseph Prystash that evidence was withheld in his case and his rights to a fair jury were violated.

Farah Fratta’s husband, Robert Fratta, a former Missouri City public safety officer who authorities say was the mastermind behind the killing, was sentenced to die for his role in his estranged wife’s murder in 1996.

The couple was reportedly caught in a divorce and custody dispute when Robert Fratta hired two men to kill his 34-year-old wife.

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According to prosecutors, Robert Fratta first hired Prystash, who was promised to receive a Jeep as compensation for his services, to murder Farah. Prystash worked out a murderous plan but then passed his .38-caliber pistol on to Howard Paul Guidry, whom he enlisted to carry out the deed.

Guidry, a laborer and 18 years old at the time of the shooting, was to receive $3,000 for the killing. Prosecutors say that on Feb. 9, 1994, Prystash drove Guidry to Farah Fratta’s house

Guidry then reportedly ambushed Farah Fratta as she stepped from her car inside the garage of her Atascocita home and shot her twice in the head.

Robert Fratta, Prystash and Guidry are all on death row.

Scroll through the gallery above to see the most controversial executions carried out by Texas

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