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Melissa Huckaby

May 10, 2010 by Post Team 

Melissa HuckabyMelissa Huckaby:STOCKTON – In a surprise move, Melissa Huckaby pleaded guilty today of the death of eight years Sandra Cantu.

Huckaby, 29, of Tracy, pleaded guilty to murder with a special circumstance of kidnapping. With his guilty plea, Huckaby avoids possible death penalty.

As part of the plea, prosecutors dropped all charges against others, including three improvements: lewd acts on a child under 14, rape by instrument and commit a sexual offense with a child 10 years less. They were also withdrawn the charges in an unrelated case that Huckaby was accused of drugging a man and a girl.

Huckaby, 29, faces life imprisonment without possibility of parole. His sentencing is scheduled for 14 June.

Today

hearing was a routine appearance Huckaby to allow his lawyers to set a date in a matter of evidence.

Relatives of both Huckaby and Sandra were in the room when Huckaby, wearing a red suit, entered the guilty plea. Also present were members of the Tracy Police Department, Janet Thiessen including the Chief, who had found themselves thrust into the national spotlight by the case.

As the judge questioned him to confirm his statement, Huckaby spoke without much emotion.

Outside the courtroom, the family of Sandra hugged after hearing the guilty plea.

Sandra was last seen on March 27, 2009, in the Garden Estates mobile home park in Tracy, where the second grade and Huckaby were neighbors.

After a search of 10 days, the girl’s body was found in a black suitcase in a pond not far from home.

Tracy Huckaby police arrested on April 10, 2009. A San Joaquin County grand jury later indicted the mother and Sunday school teacher in connection with the death of Sandra. Huckaby was also charged with two counts of supplying a noxious substance and one count of neglect of two unrelated cases involving another girl and a man Tracy Hayward.

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