OKLAHOMA CITY (KOKH) — Advocates for death row inmate Anthony Sanchez gathered at the Oklahoma State Capitol on Thursday to demand his release.
The advocates say that Sanchez is not guilty in the murder of Juli Busken.
21-year-old Busken was a ballerina at the University of Oklahoma. She had just completed her final semester at OU when she was abducted from a Norman apartment complex, was raped, and was shot in the head at Lake Stanley Draper by Sanchez in 1996.
Sanchez was convicted of first-degree murder during a trial in 2006 after his DNA was found on the victim.
"We've had individual items tested, I've worked with DNA evidence many times over the last 11 years," said private investigator David Ballard. "The footprint, the lacking DNA evidence of other items that were taken. None of it matched back to Anthony. No fingerprints. There were a lot of things put into the trial and stated as if they were 100 percent fact and they were not 100 percent."
Sanchez filed a petition that alleged his father Thomas Glen Sanchez had admitted to being the real murderer of Busken. Thomas Sanchez committed suicide on his girlfriend's front porch in 2022, but his girlfriend claimed he admitted to her that he committed the crime.
However, the court rejected the claim, calling the allegations "hearsay" and not enough to overcome "compelling evidence" of Sanchez's guilt.
Sanchez is slated to be executed by lethal injection on Sept. 21, 2023.
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