Dramatic re-enactment in murder retrial

May 13, 2009 4:04:17 PM PDT
A murder re-enactment and autopsy photos -- that's what the jury saw in court in the capital murder re-trial of Robert Fratta. Fratta is the former Missouri City cop accused of hiring hit men to kill his wife.[SIGN UP: Get headlines and breaking news sent to you]

The prosecution rested their case Wednesday afternoon, but not before saving some of the most dramatic testimony for last. Jurors had always heard that Farah Fratta had been shot twice at close range. Now they learned exactly what close range means.

Prosecutor Mia Magness wanted to re-enact how she believes Farah was shot twice in the head, so she faced the barrel of a gun just a few inches away from her head, in a dramatic demonstration for the jury. Deputy Chief Harris County Medical Examiner Dr. Dwayne Wolf held the gun. He testified Farah was shot once in the front left temple and once in the back of her head.

Throughout the demonstration, Robert Fratta looked up only a few times. Although the prosecution could not prove which shot happened first, they believe it was the shot to Farah's left temple.

Magness asked, "In your opinion, was the first wound fatal?"

Dr. Wolf answered, "It probably wasn't fatal."

Magness showed jurors autopsy photos of Farah Fratta, pictures we won't show you but pictures that were projected onto a screen for the jury to see for more than 30 minutes. Robert Fratta never looked up.

Late Wednesday afternoon, Lex Baquer took the stand. He is Farah Fratta's father who recalled recognizing the gun authorities believe was used to kill Farah. It was a 38-special revolver Baquer testified belonged to Robert Fratta.

Both sides have rested in the case. Closing arguments will begin Thursday at 9:30am. The jury has been instructed to bring an overnight bag to court on Thursday. If convicted, Robert Fratta would face the death penalty.

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