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Oklahoma executes Anthony Sanchez for killing of college dance student Juli Busken in 1996

Oklahoma executed Anthony Sanchez on Thursday for the 1996 killing of Juli Busken, a University of Oklahoma dance student, the state’s attorney general announced. Sanchez, 44, was convicted of raping and murdering Busken in 2006 after his DNA was matched to the slaying while he was serving a burglary sentence.

Sanchez was executed by lethal injection, which the state resumed using after a six-year moratorium. He was pronounced dead at 10:19 a.m. CDT, according to the Associated Press. State Attorney General Gentner Drummond was among those who attended the execution.

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

Even though Sanchez long said he didn’t kill Busken, he didn’t seek clemency from Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt, telling the Associated Press “it doesn’t go well for the inmates” no matter what the governor’s Pardon and Parole board decides, citing two cases where the board voted in favor of clemency applications that were ultimately denied by Stitt. Sanchez did ask Stitt for a 60-day reprieve so his new attorneys could review his case, according to The Oklahoman newspaper.

Sanchez used his last words to claim his innocence, according to the AP. “I didn’t kill nobody,” he said in the execution chamber at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester. He also criticized attorneys who had represented him in the past on the case and thanked his supporters.

Sanchez’s attorneys also sought a stay of execution in federal court to have more time to go through evidence from the case. The U.S. Supreme Court rejected the request before Thursday’s execution.

Earlier this year, Sanchez accused his late father of killing Busken, citing an alleged confession revealed by an ex-girlfriend of Sanchez’s dad, Thomas Glen Sanchez.

“Once he said he … enjoyed watching her die,” Charlotte Beattie wrote in a sworn statement, according to the Oklahoman. “Glen said that he regretted Anthony was on death row for something Glen did. But he said that Anthony was tough and could deal with being locked up, whereas Glen wasn’t strong enough to adapt to being incarcerated.”

The state’s attorney general said as recently as last month that there was “no conceivable doubt” that the younger Sanchez killed Busken and the DNA recovered from the killing belonged to him.

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