AUSTIN (KXAN) — The mother of Texas death row inmate Ivan Abner Cantu went to the Texas Capitol on Wednesday, along with a private investigator and a volunteer legal team, to advocate for a stay of execution and a review of new evidence in the case.

Ivan, 49, was convicted by a Collin County jury in 2001 for the murders of James Mosqueda (Ivan’s cousin) and Amy Kitchen (Mosqueda’s fiancé) in November 2000. He is scheduled for execution on April 26.

However, in a petition to Gov. Greg Abbott and the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles, Ivan’s legal team claims that they have found evidence that could exonerate Ivan.

The new evidence includes the discovery of jewelry missing from the victims, telephone records and forensic pathology. The petition also states that one of the witnesses, Jeff Boettcher, has since disavowed his testimony, stating that “he was not a credible witness due to his history of drug abuse.”

Matt Duff, a private investigator who uncovered the new evidence, has worked on the case since 2019.

“The main things that has been determined was that two of the state star witnesses actually committed perjury,” Duff said. “[Boettcher] just said that after 20 years, his conscience was getting to him. And he called up the Collin County courthouse and said that he wanted to recant his whole testimony. He had such damning statements, like he was the only one that said that Ivan told him he was planning the murders.”

The other “star” witness mentioned by Duff was Amy Boettcher, sister of Jeff Boettcher, who is deceased.

“I don’t think that physically they would have a case against him today, if he can get back to that new trial status,” Duff said.

You can read the full petition below:

According to the petition, two jurors who voted in 2001 to convict Ivan are now asking for a review of the new evidence, and said that “they are disturbed by the prospect that false and misleading testimony was presented” at the trial.

Ivan’s mom

Just a few weeks later, Ivan’s mother Sylvia was with him when a dozen Dallas Police cars surrounded Ivan’s car and arrested him.

“I lost my tongue. I had no idea what was going on and why they were doing this,” said Sylvia about the arrest.

Sylvia claims that Ivan rarely received visits from his public defender.

“That defender didn’t do anything, he didn’t prepare for court,” Sylvia said. “He never had an independent private eye investigation, he didn’t have any experts whatsoever. And in court, he called zero witnesses…the defense conceded to the prosecution.”

Sylvia said that she, having been marked as a witness, was not permitted into the trial. She was never called to testify during the trial.

“[The jury] never heard that I saw his apartment with nothing there,” Sylvia said. “Somebody planted that evidence, and that was clear.”

Now, with Duff and a legal team, she hopes to see her son exonerated.

“I ask that [Abbott] give Ivan a stay of execution and also extended to him the same courtesy that Melissa Lucio received,” Sylvia said.