Case Study on the Murder of Bridgett Frisbie

Case Study on the Murder of Bridgett Frisbie

Bridgett Frisbie was 17 years old and in her junior year at Raines High School in Katy, Texas, when she was lured into a wooded area in northwest Harris County and murdered by a close friend and schoolmate.

According to authorities, near midnight on April 3, 2011, Bridgett Frisbie snuck out of her house to meet up with friends and was walking down the street when she was spotted by Alan Perez and Alex Olivieri who were out looking for her in Olivieri's Chevrolet Suburban.

The two men had preplanned to "rough her (Frisbie) up" that night and had prepared accordingly. Both the men were armed with pistols and Perez was dressed in all black and had a black face mask. When the men spotted Frisbie, Perez hid in the back seat of the car under a pile of blankets, as per their plan.

A Threat to His Future

Frisbie and Olivieri were good friends, so she had no reason not to accept a ride from him that night. Prosecutors believe that she did not realize the degree of anger Olivieri felt towards her because of a previous incident she had witnessed and was talking about with friends at school.

Some weeks before, as a favor to Frisbie, Olivieri allegedly did a drive-by shooting at her ex-boyfriend's house with his Yugo semiautomatic rifle. According to Perez, Olivieri told him that Frisbie was driving while he sprayed her ex-boyfriend's home with bullets. He said Olivieri was worried that, if he was arrested for the shooting, it would hurt his future plans of having a career in the Army.

The Murder

With Frisbie in the Suburban and Perez hiding undetected in the back seat, Olivieri drove to a wooded area under the false pretense of needing to get something he had buried. Carrying a shovel, he and Frisbie walked into the woods. Perez followed the two from a distance and watched as Olivieri placed his hand on Frisbie's back, then he pulled out his gun and shot her in the back of the neck, killing her instantly.

At around 3 a.m. Perez and Olivieri drove to downtown Houston to pick up Frisbie's boyfriend, Zacharia Richards, from the Greyhound bus station. According to Perez, meeting Richards in Houston was going to part of the pair's alibi if questioned.

On April 3, 2011, the body of Bridgette Frisbee was discovered in the wooded area by a group of children who were out riding dirt bikes.

A search of the area turned up one 9 mm shell casing in the vicinity of Frisbie's body. When the news of the murder was released, Olivieri text-messaged Perez and pretended to be informing him that their friend had been found dead.

Confession for Immunity

A few days after the discovery of Frisbie's body, Perez, through an attorney, contacted police in regards to information that he had about the murder. Once he was granted immunity from prosecution, Perez confessed to what he knew about the murder, including fingering Olivieri as the triggerman.

Perez later testified in court that the plan was to "rough up" Frisbie, but that he did not know of Olivieri's plan to murder her and, after the shooting, the two exchanged heated words in the woods.

Perez told the court, "He came running at me, and I was in shock because he shot her."

He described Olivieri's attitude after murdering his long-time friend as "unrepentant" and that he showed no signs of remorse. Perez also admitted to following Olivieri's instructions that night, to dress in dark clothing and a full face mask, to bring a firearm, and to hide under a stack of blankets in the back of the Chevrolet Suburban.

Alexander Olivieri was found guilty of first-degree murder and was sentenced to 60 years in prison. It took the jury just under four hours to decide on Olivieri's sentence.

Bridgette Frisbie

Bridgett's father Bob Frisbie, who adopted her when she was a toddler, described his daughter as being sometimes rebellious, but that she had been through a lot in her short life, including the loss of her adoptive mother due to illness. He said that what he saw when he looked at his daughter was a fun-spirited 17-year-old who loved poetry and drawing and was a loving daughter.

Olivieri's Appeal

Olivieri's sentence was appealed due to three issues, outlined below from court papers filed by his defense attorneys:

Issue One: The trial court committed reversible error in denying defense counsel's request to instruct the jury that Alan Perez was an accomplice witness as a matter of law.

According to his attorney, by Perez's own testimony, he had entered into a conspiracy to commit a felony, which resulted in the complainant's death. If Perez's testimony is taken as true, then there is no question he engaged in criminal conduct for which he could have been charged had he not been granted immunity. Perez was, therefore, an accomplice as a matter of law.

Issue Two: Insufficient evidence was presented to corroborate the testimony of Alan Perez, an accomplice witness.

Olivieri's attorney argued that corroboration of an accomplice witness's testimony requires evidence that tends to link the accused with the crime committed. None of the evidence presented at trial tends to link Olivieri to the murder of the complainant for purposes of corroborating Perez's testimony.

Issue Three: The consent to search provided to law enforcement by Samuel Olivieri was not given voluntarily and was therefore invalid.

According to the appeal, police did not have a warrant to search the Suburban driven by Olivieri, despite prior knowledge gleaned from Perez that it may contain evidence. As a way around the warrant requirement, police sought and received the consent of Olivieri 's father to search the vehicle.

The consent by Olivieri's father was involuntary, as he was not aware that he had a right to refuse to give consent, had been subjected to a coercive show of authority by law enforcement, and was operating with less than full mental faculties after being awoken at 2 a.m. by police.

The Court of Appeals for the First District of Texas overruled the three arguments and voted to uphold the trial court's judgment.

Alex Olivieri is currently housed at the Connally (CY) Correctional Institution in Kenedy, Texas. His projected release date is November 2071. He will be 79 years old.