George Ochoa - 6 p.m. Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester
Name: George Ochoa
Age at Date of Crime: 18
Victim(s): Francisco Morales, 38
Maria Yanez, 35
Date of Crime: 07/12/1993
Date of Sentence: 03/21/1996
Crime Location: Victim’s home in Oklahoma City
Judge: Charles Owens
Prosecuting: Robert Macy and Susan P. Caswell
Defending: Kurt Geer and Bert Richard
Circumstances Surrounding Crime:
Ochoa was convicted and sentenced to death for the first-degree murders of Francisco Morales and Maria Yanez. The murders occurred in the early morning hours of July 12, 1993. Ochoa and an accomplice broke into the Morales home while the family was asleep. Ochoa immediately entered the bedroom where Morales and Yanez were sleeping and shot both victims. Morales and Yanez each suffered a minimum of nine gunshot wounds.
The victim’s three children were in the home at the time of the murders and were awakened by the sounds of gunshots. Yanez’s daughter initially denied knowing the two men, but eventually identified Ochoa as the man in her home wearing a dark shirt. Morales’s son, although unable to see a face, saw the man in the dark shirt, Ochoa, shoot his father.
En route to the crime scene, police stopped Ochoa and his accomplice who were walking nearby. The men, who matched the description given by the victim’s children, appeared nervous and sweaty.
In October 1995, Ochoa was tried for two counts of murder and burglary in the first degree. During deliberations, the jury was unable to reach a verdict and the court declared a mistrial. In March 1996, Ochoa was retried and found guilty of all counts and sentenced to death for the two murder counts. Ochoa also was given 20 years for burglary.
Statement from Attorney General Scott Pruitt:
“George Ochoa was found guilty by a jury of his peers and given the death sentence for ending the lives of Francisco Morales and Maria Yanez,” Attorney General Scott Pruitt said. “My thoughts are with the family, especially Francisco and Maria’s children, for what they have endured for the past 19 years.”