Texas executes Mexican citizen for 1997 slaying
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This undated photo provided by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice shows Ruben Ramirez Cardenas. Mexican citizen Cardenas is set for execution in Texas Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2017, for the 1997 abduction-slaying of his 16-year-old cousin in the Texas Rio Grande Valley. Cardenas' lawyers have appealed to the courts, arguing evidence in his case should undergo new more sophisticated DNA testing because the tests of two decades ago that pointed him to the slaying may not be reliable. (Texas Department of Criminal Justice via AP)


HUNTSVILLE, Texas (AP) — The Latest on the scheduled execution of a Mexican citizen in Texas (all times local):

10:35 p.m.

A Mexican citizen on death row in Texas has been executed for the slaying of his 16-year-old cousin.

Ruben Ramirez Cardenas was given a lethal injection Wednesday night after several federal court appeals failed to halt his punishment for the February 1997 killing of Mayra Laguna.

She was abducted from her family's McAllen apartment and fatally beaten. Her body was later dumped in a canal in the Rio Grande Valley in far South Texas.

Appeals for the 47-year-old Cardenas focused primarily on efforts to have trial evidence undergo new DNA testing.

In a filing to the U.S. Supreme Court hours before his punishment Wednesday, lawyers argued Texas was violating Cardenas' due process rights and a state statute that covers forensic testing and asked the justices to halt the execution for a court review.

___

9:40 p.m.

The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to halt the scheduled execution of a Mexican citizen on death row in Texas for the slaying of his 16-year-old cousin.

The high court rejected appeals from 47-year-old Ruben Ramirez Cardenas to stop his punishment for the February 1997 abduction and killing of Mayra Laguna. She was abducted from her family's apartment, fatally beaten and then had her body tied up and dumped in a canal in the Rio Grande Valley of far South Texas.

The execution was delayed about four hours past its scheduled time Wednesday evening while the court considered the appeal.

His attorneys had been seeking new DNA testing on evidence presented at Cardenas' 1998 trial and argued Texas was violating his due process rights and a state statute that covers forensic testing.

___

8:10 p.m.

Attorneys for a Mexican citizen facing imminent execution in Texas for the slaying of his 16-year-old cousin are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to delay his punishment so they have more time to seek review of a lower court's order rejecting a civil rights lawsuit.

Lawyers for 47-year-old Ruben Ramirez Cardenas said a ruling Wednesday evening from the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has left them insufficient time to file another appeal.

Cardenas was scheduled to die at 6 p.m. CST. His execution warrant remains in effect until midnight.

His attorneys have been seeking new DNA testing on evidence presented at his 1998 trial and argued Texas was violating his due process rights and a state statute that covers forensic testing.

Another appeal related to the DNA issue also is pending before the high court.

Cardenas was condemned for the February 1997 abduction and killing of Mayra Laguna in far South Texas.

___

3:30 p.m.

Two federal lawsuits seeking to halt the execution of a Mexican citizen in Texas for the slaying of his 16-year-old cousin in 1997 have been dismissed.

Attorneys for prisoner Ruben Cardenas say they'll appeal to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals over a federal judge's rejection of a lawsuit that argues his due process and civil rights are being violated because state officials won't release evidence to facilitate new DNA testing. Attorneys for the state argue the lawsuit is improper and that state courts have refused the request because Cardenas could not show that more advanced DNA tests would exonerate him.

An appeal related to the same issue also is pending before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Another federal judge has dismissed the lawsuit from Cardenas' attorney, Maurie Levin, who argued she wanted a phone in the prison so she can contact courts and the Texas governor before and during the execution.

___

12:20 p.m.

Attorneys for a Mexican citizen facing execution in Texas for the slaying of his 16-year-old cousin in 1997 have filed two federal lawsuits seeking to halt the punishment.

One lawsuit argues that Ruben Ramirez Cardenas' due process and civil rights are being violated because state officials won't release evidence to facilitate new DNA testing. Attorneys for the state argue the lawsuit is improper and that state courts have refused the request because Cardenas could not show that more advanced DNA tests would exonerate him.

Attorney Maurie Levin separately is arguing for a phone in the prison, so she can contact courts and the Texas governor before and during the execution. Texas prisons spokesman Jason Clark says cellphones are barred from Texas prisons by law and that no landline phone is accessible to execution witnesses.

___

12:15 a.m.

Attorneys for a Mexican citizen on death row in Texas for the abduction and slaying of his 16-year-old cousin more than two decades ago are looking to the federal courts in a last-day attempt to halt his execution.

Ruben Ramirez Cardenas is scheduled for lethal injection Wednesday evening for the February 1997 killing of Mayra Laguna in the Rio Grande Valley in far South Texas.

The high school student was snatched from a bedroom she shared with a younger sister at her family's public housing apartment in McAllen. Her body was found later in a canal near a lake.

In a confession to police, Cardenas said he had sex with the girl and then fatally beat her as she fought him. The 47-year-old Cardenas says the confession was coerced.

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