State Of Oklahoma Preparing To Execute Death Row Inmate Anthony Sanchez

Prosecutors say Sanchez abducted Busken from her Norman apartment complex on the morning of December 20, 1996. They allege Sanchez forced her into her car and drove to Lake Stanley Draper, where he raped her and shot her in the back of the head.

Thursday, September 21st 2023, 9:30 am

By: News 9


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Oklahoma death row inmate Anthony Sanchez is set to be executed tomorrow morning. He’s served almost 20 years in prison for the rape and murder of OU Ballerina Juli Busken.

The Supreme Court of the United States has denied a last-minute stay of execution on behalf of Sanchez. Sanchez is set to be executed by lethal injection at 10 a.m. Thursday morning.

Sanchez has maintained his innocence, but the state maintains that evidence overwhelmingly points to Sanchez.

“My name is Anthony Castillo Sanchez. I am an innocent man on the Oklahoma death row. In 1996 Juli Busken was murdered by a monster but that monster wasn't me,” said Sanchez in a phone call from prison.

From behind bars on death row, Sanchez continues to deny any part in the brutal rape and murder of Juli Busken.

Prosecutors say Sanchez abducted Busken from her Norman apartment complex on the morning of December 20, 1996. They allege Sanchez forced her into her car and drove to Lake Stanley Draper, where he raped her and shot her in the back of the head.

“Eight years after Juli was killed, we learned the name Anthony Sanchez and charged him with first degree murder, rape, kidnapping and some other charges,” said Tim Kuykendall, former Cleveland County DA.

Kuykendall says there was circumstantial evidence linking Sanchez to the murder, but the smoking gun was Sanchez's DNA on Busken’s clothes.

“It was analyzed through the OSBI crime lab, the results came back that the likelihood of it being another person was one in 94 quadrillion,” said Kuykendall.

In an April challenge, Sanchez claimed his father admitted to killing Busken before his suicide last year.

“It's really easy to point the finger at a dead person that you can't go interview now,” said Kuykendall. “I don't make anything out of it but it's a last ditch effort by people close to the defendant. They hope somebody will believe when there's no evidence to back it up whatsoever.”

Earlier this month, Death Penalty Action walked from McAlester to Oklahoma City, to deliver a final plea to the governor.

“We have delivered over 14,000 petition signatures plus a letter from Anthony Sanchez himself asking the governor for a 60-day reprieve,” said Abraham Bonowitz.

Attorney General Gentner Drummond told us in a statement: “There is no conceivable doubt that Anthony Sanchez is a brutal rapist and murderer who is deserving of the state’s harshest punishment. The family of Juli Busken has waited long enough for justice to be served.”

“There's one person responsible for Anthony Sanchez being on death row, and that's Anthony Sanchez,” said Kuykendall.

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