A Cleveland County District Court jury deliberated three hours Wednesday afternoon before finding Anthony Castillo Sanchez guilty in the death of a University of Oklahoma ballet major more than nine years ago.

Jurors recommended Sanchez serve 40 years in prison and pay a $10,000 fine for first-degree rape and serve 20 years in prison and pay a $10,000 fine for forcible sodomy, in the Dec. 20, 1996, abduction, rape and murder of Juli Busken, 21.

A separate proceeding will begin at 8:30 a.m. Thursday to determine the punishment on the first-degree murder conviction. Sanchez, 27, faces the death penalty.

Shortly after District Judge Bill Hetherington polled the jurors in front of a packed courtroom, Sanchez turned toward the Busken family and shouted: “Mr. and Mrs. Busken, I swear to God I didn’t kill your daughter — I swear to God.”

Deputies quickly surrounded Sanchez, who didn’t attempt to say anything more. Several Sanchez supporters quickly left the courtroom in tears and anger.

Meanwhile, the Busken family hugged friends and supporters and wept tears of relief after the nine-year ordeal.

Busken was found shot to death on the southeast shore of Lake Stanley Draper 12 hours after she was abducted from her Norman apartment complex.

Police said they identified Sanchez as a suspect in July 2004, when the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation’s Combined DNA Index System matched a DNA sample taken from the state prison inmate with DNA evidence taken from the crime scene.

Tom Blakey366-3540tblakey@normantranscript.com

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