A jury in Bexar County, located in San Antonio, Texas, acquitted Ezekiel Gilbert of murder in the death of Lenora Ivie Frago, a 23-year-old Craigslist escort. Gilbert had admitted to shooting Frago.
Gilbert testified that on December 24, 2009 he found Frago’s escort ad on Craigslist and believed sex was included in her $150 fee. However, Frago instead left after approximately 20 minutes, saying she had to give the money to her driver. The defense team argued that the driver was Frago’s pimp.
According to a witness account, Frago got into a car. When Gilbert was told he would not be getting his money back he fired into the car. She was shot in the neck, paralyzed, and died July 13, 2010 — nearly seven months later.
Texas law allows people to use deadly force to recover property during a nighttime theft. Prosecutors Matt Lovell and Jessica Schulze argued that this law was intended for “law abiding citizens” and “not intended for someone trying to force another person into an illegal act such as prostitution.”
The jury, however, remained unconvinced. The verdict came after almost 11 hours of deliberations that stretched over two days.
“I sincerely regret the loss of the life of Ms. Frago,” Gilbert said, as reported by MySanAntonio.com. “I’ve been in a mental prison the past four years of my life. I have nightmares. If I see guns on TV where people are getting killed, I change the channel.”