HUNTSVILLE, TX (The Houston Chronicle) – On a winter day in 1992, a neighbor heard screams coming from the home of Robert Moreno Ramos. Had they gone inside, they might have seen the bodies, the blood. And, later, the dug up bathroom floor where the slain family was buried.
Instead, it took two months for police to stumble across the murder of the Hidalgo County man’s wife and children – but Ramos has long said he wasn’t the one who did it.
More than a quarter-century later, the mentally ill and brain damaged Mexican immigrant was put to death Wednesday night, amid claims of lousy lawyering and international treaty violations. The execution was delayed more than three hours, as prison officials waited for the Supreme Court’s ruling on the condemned man’s final two appeals.
In his final words, Ramos thanked his nation’s consulate for its support, and Texas prisons for their humane treatment of him.
“I am getting my gold watch that it took the governor 30 years to forge,” he added. “Thank you God, Lord send me a chariot. I’m ready.”
He died at 9:36 p.m., according to prison spokesman Jeremy Desel.
“Justice had been delayed in this case for over two decades,” the Hidalgo County District Attorney’s Office in a statement late Wednesday. “We hope that the sentence brings peace to the family of the victims.”
The punishment, they said, was merited by the facts of the case and was “in the interest of justice.”
Ramos was arrested for capital murder in 1992, after he was picked up on a traffic warrant. Police questioned him without a lawyer, and eventually he let them search his Progreso home.
When they found blood in the bathroom, he agreed to make them a map. Investigators followed it, and found the bodies of his wife – Leticia Ramos – and her children, Abigail and Jonathan.
Even though his drawing led police to the gruesome scene, Ramos said he wasn’t the killer. Instead, he said, he found the bodies one day when he came home – and he only buried them in the bathroom so his other son wouldn’t find out.
Ramos was charged, but he didn’t get a lawyer until three months after his arrest, according to court records. During his trial, prosecutors argued that he’d beaten his wife and youngest children to death – then married another woman days later.
The jurors never heard evidence of his brain dysfunction, lifelong mental illness or shockingly brutal childhood with a father who regularly whipped him with a chain and hung him upside down.
As a foreign national, Ramos should have been told of his right to notify his country’s consulate of his arrest long before trial, as dictated by the Vienna Conventions on Consular Relations. But Mexican officials only found out through news reports nearly a year after the fact, according to court records.
But hours before he was set to die, the United Nations put out a statement asking Texas to call it off.
*However, The ‘Sanctuary City’ Chronicle left out a few important facts about the case…
Apparently they did not think the ages of his murdered children were important. His daughter, Abigail, was seven, and his son, Johnathan was only three.
How did he kill them, you may be wondering?
He beat them to death with a sledgehammer.