Target: Bexar County Judge Nelson W. Wolff
Goal: Condemn Bexar County Court for allowing acquittal of man who killed a prostitute
Some states, like Texas and West Virginia, allow you to use deadly force to protect your property. No matter what your position is on the morality of this law, it can lead to a lot of hard-to-judge scenarios. For example, a Texas jury recently acquitted 30-year-old Ezekiel Gilbert for killing a prostitute when she took his money without having sex with him. Gilbert invited 23-year-old Lenora Ivie Frago to his apartment on Christmas Eve, 2009. Gilbert testified that Frago took his $150 and left 20 minutes later, saying she had to pay her driver. He shot her in the neck to stop her, paralyzing her, and she died 7 months later. Gilbert claims that he hadn’t meant to kill her.
Gilbert’s defense attorneys argued that he had the right to use deadly force to retrieve his $150. Prosecutors argued that the law applied to law-abiding citizens, not for people trying to force others to engage in prostitution.
The problem with this case in particular is that it’s a dead person’s word against the defendant’s. Prejudice against prostitutes makes their deaths less likely to be prosecuted. Unfortunately, the same prejudice doesn’t seem to exist against johns. Remember, Ezekiel Gilbert was also breaking the law.
When people shoot each other to prevent their drugs from being stolen, the shooter is generally prosecuted. But when a man shoots a prostitute for stealing his money, he is acquitted. A prostitute is just as likely, if not more so, to be living in dangerous conditions as a drug addict. Frago could have run to the car with her $150 at that point because “the driver,” believed to be her pimp, was threatening her.
We won’t know the full story about how Frago died. But we do know that Ezekiel Gilbert is a criminal, and deserves to be charged as such. Condemn Bexar County Court Judge Nelson W. Wolff for allowing Gilbert’s acquittal.
Dear Mr. Wolff,
We are horrified that Ezekiel Gilbert was acquitted of all charges in the 2009 death of Lenora Ivie Frago.
While Texas law allows citizens to use deadly force to protect their property, we don’t know Frago’s side of the story. She may have run out with Gilbert’s $150 before having sex with him because her pimp was threatening her. We will never know her side of the story, and because she is a prostitute, your grand jury seems uninterested in it anyway.
What Bexar County Court needs to keep in mind is that Ezekiel Gilbert is also a criminal. There is no doubt that he was soliciting prostitution. In our opinion, the prosecutors were correct when they stated that only law-abiding citizens should be able to use deadly force to protect their property.
We are disgusted with your county’s ruling. Next time, consider a wider point of view.
[Your Name Here]