Convicted murderer scheduled to be executed Wednesday, despite claims of innocence

COLLIN COUNTY - The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has denied a stay of execution for Ivan Cantu.

The man convicted of murdering two people back in 2000 is still scheduled to have his death sentence carried out Wednesday despite a lot of influential voices claiming he is not guilty. Unearthed court documents give added weight to those who insist Cantu is guilty.

Claims that Cantu had an ineffective defense counsel during his capital murder trial have been a running theme among those currently speaking out to try to spare him from execution, including his mother.

"Collin County, stop the execution of my son," said Sylvia Cantu, Ivan Cantu's mother. "This is not right. You know it's not right and you need to turn this around."

A rally outside the Collin County courthouse last year was the beginning of a high-profile campaign with several prominent voices claiming Cantu was wrongly convicted of killing his cousin, James Mosqueda, and the victim's fiancée, Amy Kitchen, in 2000.

Many of the calls for a retrial are based on what Cantu supporters claim was a poor effort by his attorneys to defend him during his trial.

But court documents obtained by CBS News Texas reveal that Cantu confessed to his attorneys before the trial that he had committed the murders.

Those attorneys filed an affidavit when they were later accused by Cantu of not allowing him to undergo a psych evaluation before trial.

The attorneys said it was based on the fact that he had admitted to them that he killed Mosqueda and Kitchen out of revenge because Mosqueda owed him drug money. That led them to believe that a state-sponsored psychiatric evaluation could indicate that Cantu was a sociopath, which they believed "would substantially lower [their] already slim chance for [a reduction to] a life sentence."

The attorneys even quoted Cantu's confession, pointing to the "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  he 'didn't want to leave any witnesses.'"

"The admission that he had murdered these people because of revenge may have prevented them from submitting him to a psychological exam because they thought he would do very badly and show himself to be a sociopath," said Toby Shook, a criminal defense attorney.

Shook says the attorneys' affidavit makes a compelling argument that Cantu is in fact guilty and may explain why his trial lawyers were unable to put on a stronger case.

"It's very credible," Shook said, "They thought the exam would go bad for him. It might help the state prove he's a future danger to society."

In a statement to CBS News Texas, Collin County DA Greg Willis said, "I remain fully convinced that Ivan Cantu brutally murdered two innocent victims in 2000."

Unless Gov. Abbott or the U.S. Supreme Court intervene, Cantu will be put to death Wednesday.

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