Prosecutors seek death penalty against former Sunday school teacher in Sandra Cantu case

September 11, 2009

(ChattahBox) — San Joaquin County prosecutors said Thursday they will seek the death penalty for a California woman charged with kidnapping, raping and killing an 8-year-old girl whose body was found stuffed in a suitcase.  Melissa Huckaby, was indicted in July on kidnapping and murder charge and three special circumstances in the death of Sandra Cantu, a playmate of Huckaby’s daughter.

The special circumstances include that the 28-year-old former Sunday school teacher killed during the commission of a rape, which makes her eligible for execution if convicted. Huckaby pleaded not guilty to the charges during a hearing Thursday, which also include lewd and lascivious acts on a child under 14 and rape by instrument. Before her arrest, Huckaby acknowledged to a newspaper reporter that she owned the suitcase that contained Sandra’s body, but said it had been stolen.  A grand jury has also indicted Huckaby on charges of child endangerment and furnishing a harmful substance in connection with a case involving another Tracy girl, and furnishing a harmful substance to a 37-year-old Hayward man. Those cases are unrelated to Sandra’s death.


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