DNA sample to be tested in ballerina's death

Saturday, January 15th 2005, 12:53 pm
By: News On 6

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) _ A second DNA sample found with a slain University of Oklahoma ballet student could bolster prosecutors' case against a man accused of killing her.

Cleveland County District Attorney Tim Kuykendall said the sample is being tested to see if it matches up with Anthony Castillo Sanchez, who is charged with first-degree murder, rape, forcible sodomy and kidnapping in the Dec. 20, 1996, death of Jewell ``Juli'' Busken.

Another sample of DNA material found with Busken's body has been tested repeatedly and has been a positive match with Sanchez's DNA, Kuykendall said Friday.

After Sanchez's arrest, prosecutors moved to test the remaining sample, but Joel Henderson, Sanchez's defense attorney at the time, sought a restraining order to stop what he called the state's ``destruction of evidence.''

Henderson argued that the test should not be allowed because no material would be left over for independent testing outside of the Oklahoma City Police Department lab.

Cleveland County District Judge Tom Lucas overruled the request, but said a DNA forensic expert hired by the defense could be present to monitor the state's testing.

Henderson later withdrew as Sanchez's attorney. Oklahoma Indigent Defense Attorney Matthew Haire, who now represents Sanchez, couldn't be reached for comment Friday.

He said he hopes to have results before a preliminary hearing for Sanchez set for Feb. 23 and 24.

If the second sample also matches DNA from Sanchez, it will bolster the state's case, the prosecutor said.

Sanchez allegedly abducted Busken from the parking lot of her Norman apartment complex before raping and killing her. Her body was found at Lake Stanley Draper.