By Gina Cherelus
(Reuters) - A Mexican man was due to be executed in Texas on Wednesday for bludgeoning his wife and two children to death at their home in 1992, as his attorneys continued to plead that his case be reexamined, according to state officials and court documents.
Roberto Ramos Moreno, 64, was convicted and sentenced to death in 1993 for killing his 42-year-old wife Leticia Ramos and their children, Abigail Ramos, 7, and Jonathan Ramos, 3, with a sledgehammer, according to court filings from the state's Department of Justice.
After Leticia Ramos' sister reported that she and the two children were missing, officers found their bodies buried beneath the bathroom floor of their Progreso, Texas, home. They had all died from skull fractures more than a month earlier.
Ramos, a Mexican citizen, faces execution by lethal injection, according to local media reports.
Ramos' attorney Danalynn Recer did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Lawyers for Ramos have filed multiple appeals since 1996 arguing that he did not receive effective trial counseling, was represented by a poorly-trained, court-appointed counsel, and has a history of mental illness.
"Mr. Ramos Moreno's life was scarred, figuratively and literally, by relentless poverty, devastating physical abuse and rampant neglect," Recer said in a 2018 court filing. "He also suffers from organic brain damage directly affecting his ability to control his actions or comprehend their consequences."
Officials from the Texas Attorney General's Office have said Ramos' sentencing was justified, adding that his then 19-year-old son testified against him, detailing his experience growing up under his father's physical and verbal abuse, according to court documents.
At the time, authorities said Ramos told police his family died in a car accident but did not know where.
He then said he found his family dead after coming home before confessing to the killings, discarding the murder weapon and fleeing to Arkansas.
Ramos, who was 38 at the time, married another woman three days after the murders and moved her into the home where they were buried.
(Reporting by Gina Cherelus in New York; Editing by Tom Brown)