I got into a little comment fight on Raw Story— covering the killing of Lenora Ivie Frago and the acquittal of Ezekiel Gilbert.
Fair is fair, and Gilbert was within his rights to shoot this 23 year old woman and condemn her to a slow death by suffocation over the next seven months. And anyway she was only a prostitute–that’s the general drift. It’s one thing for internet trolls to do what they do, but for a jury to reach this conclusion is really frightening.
One dynamic of a murder trial is that the chief witness is silenced forever, and the killer gets to play for sympathy. We’ve watched the film about the good man with the gun who’s just misunderstood so many times that we’ve lost sight of reality. I wish the press would look deeper into this crime, interview the family and friends of the victim, ask some questions about what happens to a human being when they are shot. It might be the beginning of a more realistic understanding of the cost of violence– in suffering and also in dollars.
I found better information in the UK newspaper, The Daily Mail, than US sites.
Miss Frago, who had been dependent on a respirator after being left paralyzed in the shooting, died in July 2010. She had suffered brain damage after the respirator disconnected a few months after she was shot.
Miss Frago’s brother wept earlier in the trial as he recalled the moment the family decided to end her life support, according to My San Antonio. Neurologist Augusto Parra also disagreed with the defense that her death was not Mr Gilbert’s fault.
‘When you are bedridden like her – with mechanical support, with tubes for feeding – these patients are prone … to have complications,’ Mr Parra said. ‘She was in this situation because she was shot.’
The escort was shot in the early hours of Christmas Eve after Mr Gilbert confronted her driver about Miss Frago taking his money but refusing to have sex.
‘Complications’, yes. This photo from Google Images of a woman on a ventilator is probably less shocking than what Lenora Frago’s family saw when they went into her hospital room. Ms. Frago was on the vent for months, so most likely a hole was cut in her neck for the vent tube. She would have been deconditioned from being in a coma–either emaciated or swelled up with fluid. Bedsores are so difficult to prevent that even Christopher Reeve suffered sores and infections. He died despite wealth, fame and an elite medical team.
A young woman, most likely uninsured, living on the margins, would have been at the mercy of the Texas social safety net. Hospital staff would have turned her, cleaned her, fed her through a tube, suctioned phlegm– total care around the clock. They probably did their best with what they had, but her condition went from bad to worse until she finally died. She leaves behind a young daughter, whose last memories of her mother will be a woman dying on machines.
You don’t have to look far to find an image of a good man with a gun, in all his heroic glory. I had to hunt to find an image of a ventilator.
Lenora Ivie Frago paid with her life for engaging with Ezekiel Gilbert and refusing him sex. The State of Texas paid for the slow death of Ms.Frago. Hundreds of thousands of dollars at least. This is in a state that grudges health care for low-income workers, but loves its guns. Is anyone counting the real cost?
But that’s being reality-based. Blood, tears and money. Where’s the faith?
After being found not guilty of murder, Mr Gilbert hugged his defense attorneys and thanked God, his lawyers, and the jury for being able to ‘see what wasn’t the truth’.
They say that God created man in his own image, and man returned the favor. Ezekiel Gilbert sees God’s hand in his exoneration for killing a woman on Christmas Eve in an argument over $150, and the good Texas jury no doubt agreed.
I don’t believe in an afterlife, but I hope if there is one that Lenora Frago will meet him at the hour of his death, and that she haunts him for the rest of his days. No justice in this world for a woman who tangled with a man who showed no mercy.
Credits for Images:
Ezekiel Gilbert BingHeadlines
Lenora Ivie Frago SandraRose.com