Convicted murderer Ivan Cantu executed in Texas

Local News

By J.D. Miles, S.E. Jenkins

Updated on: February 28, 2024 / 11:21 PM EST
/ CBS Texas

Convicted murderer Ivan Cantù executed in Huntsville

Convicted murderer Ivan Cantù executed in Huntsville

02:32

HUNTSVILLE – Convicted murderer  Ivan Cantù  has been executed in Huntsville, despite protests from a number of people who believed he was innocent. He was pronounced dead at 6:47 p.m.

Ivan Cantù spent his final day seeking a stay of execution. 

His mother was among those who told CBS News Texas Wednesday evening.

“…nothing else could be done,” said Sylvia Cantù, Ivan Cantù’s mother. “Our Last Hope is Abbott.”

The governor took no action and Ivan Cantù was put to death by lethal injection in Huntsville, 24 years after the brutal, execution-style murders of his cousin and the victim’s fiancée. 

“I think first and foremost I’m relieved for the victims’ families,” said Collin County District Attorney Greg Willis.

After the execution, Willis said justice was served despite the protests from across the country from those who believe Ivan Cantù was denied a fair trial and convicted on weak evidence. 

“I just want people to know who are concerned if there are people concerned, that this was overwhelming evidence of a guilty man,” said Willis. “The most compelling evidence may have come out after the trial as CBS News Texas revealed [Tuesday] night.”

An affidavit filed by Cantù’s trial attorneys after his conviction stated their client privately admitted to the murders before his trial, which affected their defense strategy. 

It “led them to believe that a state-sponsored psychiatric evaluation could indicate that Ivan Cantù was a sociopath, which they believed “would substantially lower [their] already slim chance for a life sentence,”

The attorneys even quoted Ivan Cantù’s “admission that he had indeed killed Mosqueda for “ripping him off” on a drug deal, and Kitchen just happened to be at the Mosqueda home, and that “I didn’t want to leave any witnesses”

Collin County’s DA believes the case against Ivan Cantù was strong even without that.  

“We had compelling evidence against him, any number of things including his fingerprint directly marked on the magazine of the firearm that he used in the murders, the presence of the victim’s DNA on the firearm that had his print on it. The victim’s DNA on the bloody clothing found in his apartment 

This was the first execution this year in Texas. 

Another death row inmate is scheduled to have his sentence carried out in two weeks. 

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J.D. Miles

J.D. Miles is an award-winning reporter who has been covering North Texas for CBS 11 since 1996.

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