Judge issues gag order in case of man accused of killing ballerina

Friday, January 21st 2005, 5:57 am
By: News On 6

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) _ A Cleveland County judge has granted a defense attorney's request for a gag order in the case a man accused of killing a University of Oklahoma ballet student eight years ago.

The order issued Thursday by District Judge Tom Lucas bars prosecutors and defense attorneys from speaking with the media about the case of Anthony Sanchez, who is charged with first-degree murder in the Dec. 20, 1996, death of Jewell ``Juli'' Busken.

The judge issued the order after defense attorney Matthew Haire complained about a Jan. 15 article in The Oklahoman in which District Attorney Tim Kuykendall talked about a second DNA sample recovered from Busken's body.

Kuykendall said the second sample, a hair follicle, was at the Oklahoma City Police Department lab and was being tested. The hair follicle has not been tested yet.

Haire is to be notified in the event testing is done because a single DNA test would consume the hair. Haire wants an independent forensic examiner to do the testing.

One sample of DNA material recovered from Busken's body has been tested repeatedly and has proven a match with Sanchez's DNA each time, Kuykendall has said.

Haire contends his client's reputation was damaged by the report.

Lucas said he ``wasn't sure'' any damage was done, but said a gag order would be in effect when Haire and Kuykendall agree on a statement to the media.