The Worst Guns, Hookers, and Texas Story That You’ll Read Today

Prostitute and Her Murderer

Prostitute and Her Murderer — well, technically not murderer. Apprehender? From on 12/30/09 — before she died.

In honor of Gov. Rick Perry’s continuing efforts to lure California businesses to Texas, let’s review a newly revealed legal development in the state that I like to think of as “Greater San Bernardino.”  (Just kidding, San Berdoo neighbors!  And, anyway, by those same calculations “Greater OC” is Arizona.)

The background for the original story can be found here: Boy hires girl; boy loses girl (without having had the apparently promised sexual encounter with her); boy shoots girl in the neck and the back when she leaves the house and gets into her friend’s car to leave.

Or, with more details: a man was accused of shooting a 23-year-old “escort” (psssst! I mean prostitute!) he had found on craigslist and called over to his home because — and this is his side of the story — she took $150 from him and then tried to leave his home without having sex with him.  So, he shot her.  The shot was not intended to kill her, you understand — although, after months of suffering and paralysis, it did so.

From today, we learn the results of the trial:

A jury in Bexar County, Texas … agreed that because he was attempting to retrieve the $150 he’d paid to [the woman], who wouldn’t have sex with him, his actions were justified.

[The shooter] Gilbert’s defense argued that the shooting wasn’t meant to kill, and that Gilbert’s actions were justified, because he believed that sex was included as part of the fee. Texas law allows people“to use deadly force to recover property during a nighttime theft.”

The 30-year-old hugged his defense attorneys after the “not guilty” verdict was read by the judge. If convicted, he could have faced life in prison. He thanked God, his lawyers, and the jury for being able to “see what wasn’t the truth.”

The story as he tells it is horrible enough — but what’s even more horrible, which isn’t easy to achieve, is that someone having shot a woman still in his home could well be lying about why she was there — and about having paid her up front at all.  Believe it or not (and please believe it), “when a prostitute says no, it’s rape.”

And who’s the say that such a victim was a prostitute at all?  Yes, here there’s the craigslist ad, but one could imagine a man claiming that his victim had responded to such an ad even if she hadn’t.  So, as long as the jury believes such a man, this principle would allow him to lure a woman into his house on any pretense, claim that she was there to have sex with him but instead tried to take the money and run, and shoot her.  (If he used a condom, he might have been able to have sex with her first.)

If that doesn’t bother some of our male readers here enough, consider that a woman entering the home of a man could also use this law in the other direction  by claiming that the man had lured her there so that he could pull that sort of scam.  (And, of course, so could a man, prostitutes coming, as they do, in all flavors.)  Of course, maybe they’d be less likely to be acquitted.  (I’m not dwelling on the indefensible gender violence aspects of this case because I would think that they are pretty obvious.  But comment away on them.  I also note that, so far as I can tell, he looks non-Hispanic white and she looks probably Latina.)

The upshot (so to speak) is, of course, that a law saying that “allows people to use deadly force to recover property during a nighttime theft” is absolutely insane — and any company thinking of relocating to Texas is complicit in it.  In California, you’re supposed to call the cops — even if it increases the chances that you could be out your $150.  (Guess what?  Engaging in illegal transactions is dangerous — and you don’t have the legal right to shoot someone for ripping you off in one.  Except, apparently, in Texas.)

So, let’s remind the people considering a move to Texas that they and their employees could well be fair game.  And let’s keep our own state from going the way of Texas.  As for the underlying law — and the question of whether this guy was a “responsible gun owner — I look forward to commentary from our gun rights advocates here.

About Greg Diamond

Somewhat verbose attorney, semi-retired due to disability, residing in northwest Brea. Occasionally runs for office against bad people who would otherwise go unopposed. Got 45% of the vote against Bob Huff for State Senate in 2012; Josh Newman then won the seat in 2016. In 2014 became the first attorney to challenge OCDA Tony Rackauckas since 2002; Todd Spitzer then won that seat in 2018. Every time he's run against some rotten incumbent, the *next* person to challenge them wins! He's OK with that. Corrupt party hacks hate him. He's OK with that too. He does advise some local campaigns informally and (so far) without compensation. (If that last bit changes, he will declare the interest.)