Detective testifies about finding key evidence in Norman case

Saturday, February 11th 2006, 1:01 pm
By: News On 6

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) _ A homicide detective testified Friday about a pink leotard that is a key piece of evidence in the murder case against Anthony Castillo Sanchez.

Sanchez, 27, is charged with first-degree murder, rape and sodomy in the death of University of Oklahoma dance student Jewell ``Juli'' Busken, 21, on Dec. 20, 1996. Prosecutors charged Sanchez in 2004, saying DNA evidence taken from the leotard connected him to the murder scene.

Meanwhile, two female jurors were dismissed and replaced with two alternates, a man and a woman.

Cleveland County District Judge William Hetherington said ``inadvertent behavior'' led to the dismissals. One alternate juror is remaining.

Attorneys could not comment on the dismissals because of a gag order in the case.

Oklahoma City detective John Maddox testified he discovered the leotard crumpled beneath a tree near where Busken's body was found on the southeast shore of Lake Stanley Draper. He said the leotard with the initials ``JB'' inside them was bagged, sealed and sent to a crime lab for analysis.

Crime lab specialists told Maddox the stains on the tights could be used to develop a DNA profile of Busken's killer, Maddox said. Men who were in contact with Busken near the time of her death were then asked to give blood samples to police for DNA analysis. None of those men matched the DNA profile.

Sanchez was accused of rape and second-degree burglary in an unrelated case in 2001 in Norman. He pleaded guilty to second-degree burglary but the rape charge was dismissed at the request of the state.

While serving his sentence on the burglary conviction, a state-mandated DNA sample was taken from him. The sample is required from all violent offenders and convicted burglars so it can be stored in a DNA database.

That sample matched the DNA evidence from the Busken murder, prosecutors say.

Busken of Benton, Ark., was kidnapped from the parking lot of her apartment complex in Norman on Dec. 20, 1996. She was reported missing later that day.