Saturday, April 25, 2009

Melissa Huckaby Does Not Enter Plea

Huckaby sat quietly during her court appearance. She was shackled and dressed in a red jail suit — indicating she's a high-risk inmate. There were no tears from Huckaby as there were in her first court appearance.

San Joaquin County Superior Court Judge Linda L. Loftus agreed with both sides that toxicology and autopsy reports will be sealed saying, "In the interest of a fair trail, for both sides in this case, that is the only option."

"There would be overriding prejudice if the record is unsealed."She said there would be a great amount of "public outrage" if the results were released, and it would also be an invasion of privacy into the lives of Sandra's family. She said the rape and murder of a child is viewed by the public as a "heinous crime."

Prosecutors have turned over more than 500 pages of documents and several audio recordings of interviews by police with Huckaby who is accused of killing 8-year-old Sandra Cantu.

Judge Loftus granted the defense an additional 30 days to obtain and review information related to the evidence.

Huckaby is being held "under observation" and without bail at San Joaquin County jail and is scheduled to return to court on May 22.

Waiting for the other shoe to drop?

The murder investigation is beginning to take some frightening twists and turns:

Police returned to the church where Melissa Huckaby once taught Sunday school.
Four investigators in the town of Tracy went inside the Clover Road Baptist Church for about 20 minutes Thursday afternoon.

They came out carrying some items wrapped in long tubes.

Police believe the church may be where Sandra Cantu was murdered.

Washington Connection
Investigators are questioning members of the First Church of God in Clarkston, Washington. In the mid-80’s there were allegations of child abuse and molestation connected to the church. No charges were ever filed.

The current pastor of the church says he has been questioned about the previous pastor and specifically about Lane Lawless, Melissa Huckaby’s grandfather.

Idaho Connection
The murder investigation has also led detectives to a church Lewiston, Idaho.

Authorities have been questioning people at the Warner Alliance Church in North Idaho. Indications are Lawless was questioned years ago about alleged child abuse at the Lewiston church.

Authorities say there is no criminal investigation open on Lawless.

This is like peeling back the layers of an onion!

Mercury News


Sprocket said...

As you know donchais, I've suspected for some time that Huckaby was sexually abused as a child.

With investigators reaching into Lane Lawless's past church associations, (in Washington and now Idaho) this reminds me of the shuffling of priests off to different parishes to hide their child abuse crimes.

One of the possibilities is that Lawless was forced to "move on" himself by the communities he was serving.

katfish said...

I think you are right Donchais, this is like peeling back the layers of an onion....a rotten one!
I have stayed away from this story from the beginning because I have just had a bad feeling. With Sandra's disappearance coming on the heels of Caylee, Haleigh, and Emma I just wasn't up to it. Thanks for covering it here. ;~(

Anonymous said...

There is talk of moving this trial to LA County Sprock. Hope you will cover it for us.