“She Owed Me Sex Or A Refund” As a Murder Defense

So, a weird story out of Texas:

The verdict came after almost 11 hours of deliberations that stretched over two days. The trial began May 17 but had a long hiatus after a juror unexpectedly had to leave town for a funeral.
During closing arguments Tuesday, Gilbert’s defense team conceded the shooting did occur but said the intent wasn’t to kill. Gilbert’s actions were justified, they argued, because he was trying to retrieve stolen property: the $150 he paid Frago. It became theft when she refused to have sex with him or give the money back, they said.

Gilbert testified earlier Tuesday that he had found Frago’s escort ad on Craigslist and believed sex was included in her $150 fee. But instead, Frago walked around his apartment and after about 20 minutes left, saying she had to give the money to her driver, he said.

Apparently, the law in question did not specify that the defense does not apply to transactions that were illegal in the first place?

Will Truman

Will Truman is the Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. He is also on Twitter.


  1. Or that relatively small amounts of money are worth killing over? Or that any schmuck can shoot someone over a property dispute? Or that just saying he didn’t mean to kill when he clearly fired a gun at her should be worthy of some jail time and being hit in the head with a giant hammer like on month python.

    Laws like Stand Your Ground and in this case seem like pandering to some trigger happy mama jama’s who want to be able to get away with murder.

    • A lying, thieving, whore getting shot and dying sounds like a net positive for society.

      If that “relatively small amount of money” was my money and I lived in Texas, I would be shooting too. In PRNJ I would get into trouble for giving the thief a dirty look.

      • Prostitution and theft are not capital offenses. And let’s avoid the word “whore.”

        • They are not capital offenses for the state. Big difference. I still think it is a net positive for society. The next person who tries that stunt in Texas will think twice.

          I will refrain from using that 100 % accurate word.

          • On the one level I get this. On the other… am I more worried about people chasing other people down when they’ve been robbed, or am I more worried about people getting ripped off? The former.

            This is in contrast to castle doctrines, where I more-or-less support the legal right of people to kill intruders unless it can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt that the homeowner knew that he and his loved ones were not in danger. Now, in our recent event, that’s not what we did and I wouldn’t have gone for a gun even if I’d had one, but I don’t want prosecutors parsing out borderline cases of whether the homeowner was really in danger or “unreasonably” scared.

            It’s the red-stater in me, I guess.

          • It also creates an incentive to go for a gun instead of backing down over property matters. It legalizes escalating conflict and gives all parties more incentive to come packing. Combine this with SYG and both sides can feel justified in pulling guns over a $10 argument.

          • I do think that Texas is getting a bumrap in this case though. The DA tried his best to convict (I would imagine). It isn’t the state’s fault that the jury acquited. Also, I hope you comment at some point on the shoe stabber in Texas.

          • Texas is getting a bad rap because of the law, not because the DA didn’t try their hardest. Whether that bad rap is actually based on an accurate assessment of the law, though, I’m not 100% sure. See my comment below.

          • It isn’t the state’s fault that the jury acquited.

            Right, it’s not Texas: it’s Texans.

  2. As ever, if Texas is insane, Florida is even more so.


    (Though I will say that this is a novel twist on the killing “in flagrante delicto” defense; my understanding is that the usual explanation is a sort of “temporary insanity” thing, holding that the defendant was so overcome with rage and jealousy that they cannot be held fully accountable. Here, the defandant claims he did not recognize the interloper, and thought his wife was being raped; he essentially made a “self-defense” claim).

      • It would be even worse if Lover’s Lane is a one-way.

        • “They plan to take it day by day. That started Thursday night with a trip to Waffle House, which serves Flores’ favorite meal, the patty melt platter.”

          • They danced there. The whole story has so many messed-up details, some of which you can find in this story, some elsewhere. He’s almost 2x her age, and supposedly the marriage has not been consummated due to, ah…”medical issues” on his part (the lover was her age). She claims to have been blackout drunk during the deed. He claims to have killed 150 ppl during his military career, which was part of his explanation as to why he killed this guy (he was on autopilot).

            Fishin’ Florida, man.

  3. No amount of non-human* property is worth killing over. Our laws should reflect that.

    * I say “non-human” not to suggest that I find human property via slavery or other means acceptable, but to head off any, “Well, I own my hand… what if they were trying to steal that?” counters.

    • In their black and stony heart-of-hearts the pointy-headed legislators of that fine state would dearly love to bring back the death penalty for property crimes. You know, stuff like hangin’ for horse thievin’. But they’re just barely smart enough to realize that such would never pass the SC in an era when the death penalty for murder is only barely constitutional.

      So, operating under the assumption that stuff’s only unconstitutional when the state does something as opposed to not doing something, they’ve decided it’s simpler to just allow ordinary citizens to act as judge, jury, and executioner–right there on the spot. Saves time and trouble.

    • No amount of non-human* property is worth killing over.

      You know, I don’t hate my job. But on just about any given day, there’s something else I’d rather be doing. But five days a week, I give up nine hours of my life—nine precious, irreplaceable hours that I could have spent enjoying life—and go to work. Why? To make money. So I can buy the things I need to live, and also some things I’d like to have. And to save for the future. So that someday, instead of going in to work, I can do what I really want to do. I’ll probably be too old to make the most of it, of course, but such is life. And if I can retire sooner, I can make better use of that time.

      Like I said, I don’t hate my job. I’ve had jobs I hated in the past, but this one’s not so bad. And I don’t want to brag, but I make more than most people. So that time someone stole $2,000 from me, I was pretty pissed, but I got over it. But if I really hated my job, and I didn’t make as much money—if that were a month’s worth of getting up and putting up with eight hours of a job I hated, all down the drain, all for nothing—that would be kind of a big deal.

      They say you can always make more, but really, that’s bunk. Sure, you get another paycheck the next month, but you were going to get that anyway. Maybe you can work extra hours, but then you have to work extra hours. That’s another 160 hours you have to spend doing something you hate instead of enjoying life.

      Explain to me how that isn’t worth killing to protect, when the person being killed is some piece of shit who decided to take away something his worked for just because he could. Someone who’s probably done the same to others before, and will probably do the same to others again.

      I’m not going to go out on a limb and defend this particular case, but the idea that no amount of property is worth killing to defend strikes me as pretty questionable.

      • “Explain to me how that isn’t worth killing to protect.”

        Your taking the life of a brother, son, father, friend–a human life–because they are stealing some shit from you. Your shit, no matter how nice or expensive, is not worth that much.

        The fact that you find the argument that you worked for it (and would have to work more to get it back), and they are “a piece of shit” persuasive is . . . troubling.

      • This is quite a useful principle:

        The value of a human life lies in the enjoyment of one’s property

        Once obvious consequence is that the distinction between crimes against property and crimes against persons goes away: theft is an assault on the owner of the things stolen, every bit as much as a physical blow or even a stabbing or gunshot. In all cases,.a part of the value of the victim’s life has been destroyed. The difference is one of degree, not of kind, and it’s quite possible for the value of property stolen to exceed the value of the life of the thief. Likewise, it becomes clear that the value of a person’s life is in general a monotonically increasing function of his wealth, simply because each additional possession adds to it,

  4. My first response was ‘only in Texas’, but as shown above, I was wrong. Of course, the counter-example was from Florida, whose motto is ‘If you think that Texas is crazy,……..’.

  5. If you read the actual law, it says the “deadly force” provision only applies if the person A: had a reasonable believe that he had no other means than force to recover the property, and B: had a reasonable belief that using something other than deadly force would expose him to significant risk of injury or death.

    It should have been simple for the prosecution to show that neither of these beliefs were reasonable for the defendant to hold.

    Same song we’ve heard before; stupid prosecution screws up, criminal walks.

      • This does add a bit more to the story. The law is still rock stupid. If the jury didn’t consider shooting a tire out as issue well that is ridiculous. You put a bullet in the air, you are responsible for it. Manslaughter may have been a better charge but who knows why they didn’t indict him for that also.

        • Yeah, it’s not like it was a homicide that occurred during the commission of a felony, because in Texas you can get the death penalty for that.

          • Texas has a felony murder statute, but not a depraved heart murder statute. presumably this isn’t for any policy purpose, but to provide a steady stream of real-life fodder for law school hypotheticals.

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