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The Latest: Mexican citizen executed for killings in Texas

November 15, 2018

This undated photo provided by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice shows Roberto Moreno Ramos. Ramos is scheduled for lethal injection for the 1992 killings of his 42-year-old wife, Leticia, their 7-year-old daughter, Abigail, and their 3-year-old son, Jonathan, at their home in Progreso, located along the Mexico border about 20 miles (32.19 kilometers) southeast of McAllen. Prosecutors say Ramos killed his loved ones and then buried them underneath his home's freshly tiled bathroom floor. Authorities say he bludgeoned his family members so he could marry the woman he was having an extramarital affair with at the time. (Texas Department of Criminal Justice via AP)

HUNTSVILLE, Texas (AP) — The Latest on the execution of a Mexican citizen convicted for the sledgehammer killings of his wife and two children (all times local):

9:42 pm.

A 64-year-old Mexican citizen on death row in Texas has been executed for the sledgehammer killings of his wife and two children more than 26 years ago.

Roberto Moreno Ramos received a lethal injection Wednesday night for the 1992 deaths of his 42-year-old wife Leticia, 7-year-old daughter Abigail, and 3-year-old son Jonathan. The slayings occurred at their home in Progreso, along the Mexico border.

Authorities say Ramos bludgeoned his family members and then buried them underneath the home’s bathroom floor so he could marry the woman he was having an affair with at the time.

His attorney had argued the execution should have been stopped because Ramos’ trial lawyers failed to present any evidence about his mental illness and abusive childhood that could have persuaded jurors to spare his life.

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9 p.m.

The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to halt the execution in Texas of a Mexican citizen for the sledgehammer slayings of his wife and two children 26 years ago.

The decision Wednesday night clears the way for the lethal injection of 64-year-old Roberto Moreno Ramos.

The punishment was scheduled for just after 6 p.m. CST but was being delayed until appeals were resolved. The execution warrant remained in effect until midnight.

The late appeals rejected by the justices have focused on arguments from Ramos’ lawyers that he had deficient legal help during earlier stages of his appeals.

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5:15 p.m.

Three retired justices from Texas’ highest criminal court are supporting a Mexican man’s efforts to halt his scheduled execution for the sledgehammer killings of his wife and two children.

The ex-justices from the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals filed court documents Wednesday in support of Roberto Moreno Ramos’ request that the U.S. Supreme Court stop his execution.

Ramos has argued his constitutional rights were violated as lower courts refused to fully review his claims that his trial lawyers failed to present any evidence about his mental illness and abusive childhood that could have persuaded jurors to spare his life.

The retired justices say the Texas appeals court appointed an incompetent appellate attorney who early in the post-conviction process failed to investigate Ramos’ case.

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3:55 p.m.

A federal judge has declined to stop the scheduled execution of a Mexican citizen condemned in Texas for the sledgehammer killings of his wife and two children.

Roberto Moreno Ramos is scheduled for lethal injection Wednesday evening for the 1992 South Texas slayings of his family members, whose bodies were found buried underneath the bathroom floor of their home.

In a court order Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel dismissed Ramos’ request to temporarily block the execution. The request was part of a lawsuit Ramos filed against the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals on Tuesday.

An appeal remains pending before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Ramos claims his trial lawyers failed to present any evidence about his mental illness and abusive childhood that could have persuaded jurors to spare his life.

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2 p.m.

A Mexican citizen on Texas death row for the sledgehammer killings of his wife and two children is waiting to see whether the U.S. Supreme Court or a federal judge will halt his execution.

Roberto Moreno Ramos is scheduled for lethal injection Wednesday evening for the 1992 South Texas slayings of his family members, whose bodies were found buried underneath the bathroom floor of their home.

His lawyer filed an appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday, one day after the attorney filed a lawsuit in federal court against the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals.

Both legal actions center around Ramos’ claims that his trial lawyers failed to present any evidence about his mental illness and abusive childhood that could have persuaded jurors to spare his life.

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12:56 a.m.

Attorneys for a Mexican citizen set to be executed in Texas for the sledgehammer killings of his wife and two children say his life should be spared because he’s a “bipolar, brain-injured” person who was severely abused as a child.

Roberto Moreno Ramos is scheduled to die Wednesday evening for the 1992 South Texas slayings of his family members, whose bodies were found buried underneath the bathroom floor of their home.

Ramos’ attorney says his trial lawyers failed to present any evidence about his mental illness and abusive childhood that could have persuaded jurors to spare his life.

Two appeals courts and the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles have already turned down the 64-year-old inmate’s request to stop his execution.

Mexican officials also say Ramos’ execution should be stopped.

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