Anthony Sanchez Executed For 1996 Rape, Murder Of Juli Busken

The State of Oklahoma carried out its 10th execution since 2021 on Thursday as Anthony Sanchez was put to death for the 1996 kidnapping, rape, and murder of 21-year-old Juli Busken.

Thursday, September 21st 2023, 6:16 pm


The State of Oklahoma executed Anthony Sanchez on Thursday morning who was convicted of kidnapping, raping, and murdering a 21-year-old University of Oklahoma student in 1996.

Sanchez was executed by lethal injection at 10:19 on Thursday morning.

“Justice was served today for Juli Busken nearly 27 years after her life tragically was taken. My hope is that today can bring some measure of peace to her family and friends,” said Oklahoma Attorney General Gentner Drummond.

 It was the state's 10th execution since 2021. The next person Oklahoma is scheduled to put to death is Phillip Hancock. He was sentenced to death in 2004 for the 2001 murders of Robert Jett and James Lynch in Oklahoma County.

He is set to die on November 30.

Story Timeline: Man Faces Execution In Death Of OU Student

Juli Busken was a ballerina at OU. Prosecutors said Sanchez kidnapped her from her apartment and she was found dead at Lake Stanley Draper.

The case went unsolved for nearly a decade after Busken was killed, then investigators learned the name Anthony Sanchez. Sanchez maintained his innocence for nearly 20 years on death row. But the prosecutors said there is overwhelming evidence that Sanchez is the killer, including DNA.

Anthony Sanchez Execution

Prosecutors said Sanchez kidnapped Busken from her Norman apartment, forced her into a car then drove her to Lake Stanley Draper, where Sanchez raped her and shot her in the back of the head. Cleveland County prosecutors said there was circumstantial evidence tying Sanchez to the brutal crime, but the smoking gun was Sanchez's DNA on Busken's clothes.

The DNA results showed that there was a one in 94 quadrillion chance it could be someone other than Sanchez, prosecutors said. Back in April, Sanchez challenged his conviction saying that his father admitted to killing Busken before his father committed suicide last year.

In a recorded prison phone call, Sanchez said Busken was killed by a monster but that monster wasn't him. The U.S. Supreme Court denied a pause to Sanchez's execution earlier this week. Sanchez's supporters said faulty DNA is to blame for his conviction. But Attorney General Gentner Drummond stands by the conviction and said all evidence points directly to Sanchez.

Drummond said it was time for Busken's family to get justice.


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