Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Texas Gives Ivan Cantu New Execution Date of February 28, 2024

Ivan Cantu, Texas

Updated: Friday, September 8, 2023

Ivan Cantu has been given a new execution date of February 28, 2024.   

Updated: Monday, April 24, 2023

Ivan CantuIvan Cantu is scheduled to be executed at 6 pm local time on Wednesday, April 26, 2023, inside the Walls Unit execution chamber at the Huntsville State Penitentiary in Texas. Forty-nine-year-old Ivan is convicted of murdering 27-year-old James Mosqueda and 21-year-old Amy Kitchens on November 4, 2000, in Dallas, Texas. For the last 21 years, Ivan has resided on death row in Texas.

Ivan Abner Cantu graduated from high school and did not have any prior convictions. Ivan had previously worked as a laborer. In 1998 or 1999, Ivan was hired by his cousin, James Mosqueda to work in James’ mortgage banking business in Dallas, Texas. James eventually fired Ivan in mid-2000.

Ivan Cantu moved into an apartment with his girlfriend and her brother on October 15, 2000. The apartment was located about one mile from where James lived. In late October, Cantu informed one of his roommates that he was going to kill his cousin James. Cantu alleged that James was a part-time drug dealer of cocaine and marijuana. Cantu also planned to steal James’ money.

On November 4, 2000, Cantu left his apartment around 11:30 pm in his vehicle. Shortly before leaving, Cantu told his girlfriend he was going to kill James. Cantu returned to the apartment about two hours later covered in blood. His face was also swollen.

James lived with his fiancé, Amy Kitchen. On November 4, 2000, at the request of Amy’s mother, the Dallas Fire Department forcibly entered James and Amy’s home. James and Amy were found deceased in the bedroom, with no sign of struggle. They had been killed by multiple gunshot wounds.

Police quickly narrowed in on Cantu as a suspect. A search of his apartment a few days later revealed that he had a key to James’ home. He also had in his possession keys to Amy’s vehicle. Further, police found clothes in the garbage that had blood on them. DNA testing revealed that the blood matched James and Amy. Eventually, police also located the murder weapon at Cantu’s ex-girlfriend’s apartment.

Cantu was arrested, charged, and convicted of the robbery and murder of James and Amy. Cantu alleged that rival drug dealers were responsible for the couple’s murder. He previously had an execution date in 2011. That date was stayed to allow additional DNA testing.

Judicial District Court Judge Benjamin A. Smith in Collins County, Texas, withdrew the execution date for Ivan Cantu.  Attorneys for Ivan previously requested his execution date be withdrawn to all time to review new revelations in the case.  Specifically, Ivan’s girlfriend at the time gave testimony against him saying Ivan had shown her the crime scene and given her some items from the deceased.  At least one of these items was later found to be in the possession of the family of the deceased.  The girlfriend is now deceased.  Another person who testified against Ivan has also come forward saying he wanted to recant his testimony and that he was using drugs at that time.

Please pray for peace for the families of James Mosqueda and Amy Kitchen. Pray for strength for the family of Ivan Cantu. Please pray that if Ivan is innocent, lacks the competency to be executed, or should not be executed for any other reason, that evidence will be provided before his execution. Pray that Ivan may come to find peace through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

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