A short but significant section of the Texas Penal Code was enough to convince jurors that Ezekiel Gilbert was within his rights as he shot and ultimately killed Lorena Frago in 2009.
Gilbert was charged with the escort's murder after he said he paid her for sex, but she didn't deliver.
She had taken his money, however, and was leaving his apartment with a friend when Gilbert opened fire on the car, hitting it twice.
Frago was struck in the neck and died months later.
Gilbert's defense team argued that under Texas Penal Code Section 9.41 and 9.42, Gilbert was within his rights to use deadly force.
"It was legal under the law because she was stealing his property," said Bobby Barrera, one of Gilbert's defense attorneys. "The law allows for the use of deadly force if there is no other way to prevent the theft of your property."
The state, for its part, argued that it was not theft because you cannot force someone to do something illegal.
Therefore, they said the jury should convict Gilbert of the murder charge.
But the state sided with the defendant, taking 11 hours before finally acquitting the 30-year-old.