New trial in Fratta murder case

April 3, 2009 3:50:49 PM PDT
Painful memories are being relived by the family of a woman murdered over 14 years ago. Jury selection is underway in the case of a former police officer accused of hiring someone to kill his wife. [SIGN UP: Get headlines and breaking news sent to you]

Robert Fratta was convicted back in 1996 and now he's getting a new trial. The family of the victim is outraged he's getting a second chance at freedom.

Eyewitness News was there when Robert Fratta was first arrested in 1994 and convicted two years later. This week he was in court to pick a jury for his second capitol murder trial.

We first met the parents of Farah Fratta 15 years ago. At that time, Lex and Betty Baquer not only had to deal with their daughter's death, but they were also involved in a custody dispute for Farah's three children. Those kids are now all adults. All of them are now determined to go to their father's second capitol murder trial.

The Baquers told me they do not look forward to reliving the trauma of another capitol murder trial and the grim testimony of their daughter's violent death. Yet, they plan to go to the trial when testimony starts next month.

"I still have hope and I want to see him being convicted again because he's being given a second chance. My child had no chances, not a chance," said Betty Baquer, the victim's mother.

Farah Fratta was 33-years-old when she was shot and killed in the driveway of her Atascocita home. Her husband, Robert Fratta, was eventually arrested and convicted of hiring two men to murder Farah. Under appeal, some of the evidence used to convict Robert was ruled inadmissible, paving the way for a second trial.

"Personally, I have a lot of confidence he will go back where he belongs and I want him to see how well the children are. They are all adults," said the victim's father, Lex Baquer.

The last picture taken of Farah and her three children was just mothers before she was murdered. Her children have all grown up. Bradley, Amber and Daniel were raised by their grandparents. Amber looks remarkably like her mother.

"We have never told them what happened and how it happened and their father is the perpetrator. We have never ever mentioned it. We left it to them," said Lex.

As each child became 18, Lex said they each wanted to go to death row to visit their father, a trip they said would not be repeated.

"Daniel said, 'I don't want to see him anymore. I don't really care.' Amber is very adamant that she should be in an area that she understands exactly what happened. Bradley has never spoken to us about his father," said Lex.

While the children have definite opinions about their father, Lex says Farah's children plan on attending when testimony starts in May.

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