Ochoa Execution Date Set for December
OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals has set Dec. 4 as the execution date for Oklahoma County death row inmate George Ochoa, 38.
Ochoa was convicted and sentenced to death for the first-degree murders of Francisco Morales, 38, and wife, Maria Yanez, 35. According to the report, Morales suffered 12 gunshot wounds and Yanez suffered 11 gunshot wounds while in their bedroom the morning of July 12, 1993.
En route to the crime scene, police found Ochoa and his accomplice, Osvaldo Torres, 18, from Mexico, walking nearby appearing nervous and sweaty. The victim’s children were in the home at the time of the murders. The son was not able to identify the man who shot his father. The daughter at first denied knowing the suspects because she was frightened, but eventually she identified the two men.
In October 1995, Ochoa was tried for two counts of murders 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.
Torres was tried and sentenced to death for the murders. However, in 2004, former Gov. Brad Henry commuted Torres’ sentence to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Attorney General Pruitt requested the execution date for Ochoa on October 1, 2012, after the U.S. Supreme Court denied the inmate’s final appeal.