The U.S. Supreme Court rejected appeals Wednesday night for Mexican national Edgar Tamayo, clearing the way for the Texas death row inmate to be executed for the slaying of a Houston police officer 20 years ago.
Tamayo's execution had been scheduled for 6 p.m. for the slaying of Officer Guy Gaddis, 24, but the death warrant remained in effect until midnight.
Texas officials have opposed appeals to stop the scheduled lethal injection, despite pleas and diplomatic pressure from the Mexican government and the U.S. State Department.
Tamayo's attorneys and the Mexican government contend Tamayo's case was tainted because he wasn't advised under an international agreement that he could get legal help from his home nation after his arrest in 1994. Legal assistance guaranteed under that treaty could have uncovered evidence to contest the capital murder charge or provide evidence to keep Tamayo off death row, Mexican officials have said.
Records show the consulate became involved or aware of the case just as his trial was to begin.
Secretary of State John Kerry previously asked Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott to delay Tamayo's punishment, saying it "could impact the way American citizens are treated in other countries." The State Department repeated that stance Wednesday.