06.07.1310:52 AM ET

Man Acquitted of Escort’s Murder

Court deems he was trying to retrieve ‘stolen property.’

A jury in Texas has acquitted a man who admitted that he shot an escort who took his money but refused to have sex with him. Ezekiel Gilbert gave Lenora Ivie Frago $150 after meeting her through Craigslist, believing he was paying for sex. When she refused and also refused to give the money back, he shot her in the neck, and, after being paralyzed, she died seven months later. “During closing arguments Tuesday, Gilbert’s defense team conceded the shooting did occur but said the intent wasn’t to kill,” the San Antonio Express-News reported. “Gilbert’s actions were justified, they argued, because he was trying to retrieve stolen property: the $150 he paid Frago.” Prosecutors countered that the Texas law allowing the use of deadly force to recover stolen property was never meant to force someone into an illegal act like prostitution, but the jury apparently disagreed. Outside the courtroom, Gilbert thanked the jury, his lawyers, and God.