A 44-year-old man convicted of the 1996 rape and murder of a dance student was executed by lethal injection in Oklahoma on Thursday, officials said.
Anthony Sanchez was sentenced to death in 2006 for the rape and murder of Juli Busken, a 21-year-old student at the University of Oklahoma.
Sanchez was put to death by lethal injection at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in the town of McAlester, a spokeswoman for the state’s Department of Corrections said.
Sanchez, who was convicted of the murder on the basis of DNA evidence, insisted that he was not responsible and blamed it on his father, who committed suicide last year.
The younger Sanchez was serving time in prison for burglary when his DNA was matched to Busken’s murder.
In April, the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals rejected his request for a new hearing in the case, a move welcomed at the time by Oklahoma Attorney General Gentner Drummond.
“Not only has Sanchez refused to admit his guilt, he even tried to accuse his father of committing the murder — a desperate and cowardly accusation that DNA testing has proven to be false,” Drummond said.
Sanchez is the third inmate to be executed in Oklahoma since January.
There have been 18 executions in the United States this year.