Cleveland County jury convicts man in death of ballerina

Tuesday, February 14th 2006, 2:45 pm
By: News On 6

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) -- A Cleveland County jury will begin considering whether a man it convicted in the death of a University of Oklahoma ballet student will receive the death penalty.

The panel of nine women and three men found Anthony Castillo Sanchez guilty Wednesday evening of first-degree murder, rape and sodomy in the December 20th, 1006, death of Jewell "Juli" Busken, whose body as found at Lake Stanley Draper in south Oklahoma City.

The jury recommended 40 years in prison and a $10,000 fine against Sanchez on the rape count and 40 years and a $10,000 fine on the sodomy count.

District Judge William Hetherington told jurors that the penalty phase of the trial would begin Thursday and should end by Friday.

The 27-year-old Sanchez showed no emotion as Hetherington read the verdict, but after the judge polled the jurors about the verdict, Sanchez rose to his feet and said, quote, "Mister and Mrs. Busken, I swear to God I didn't kill your daughter."

News footage showed several law officers carrying Sanchez by his arms and legs out of the courthouse down a ramp and sidewalk.

Busken's mother, Mary Jean, told reporters later that Wednesday was the day they were waiting for.