Tuesday, April 14, 2009
The accused killer of 8-year old Sandra Cantu was arraigned in San Joaquin County Superior Court in Stockton this afternoon. As expected, 28-year old Melissa Huckaby was charged with murder, but the special circumstance charges give horrible insight into what actually happened to Sandra.
The San Joaquin County District Attorney added charges of murder during the commission of a kidnapping, lewd or lascivious act on a child, and rape with a foreign object.
Sandra was found on April 6 in Melissa Huckaby’s suitcase floating in an irrigation pond. Police believe Sandra was dead before her mother knew she was missing.
Lead into a packed courtroom, Huckaby was shackled at the waist and ankles, and cried through most of the arraignment. She did not enter a plea and was assigned a public defender.
No decision has been made regarding the death penalty at this time. Huckaby's next court appearance will be on April 24.
There is very little academic information regarding female rapists/killers who kill children that are not their own. Melissa Huckaby may become one of the most studied child killers in modern history.
Video of court appearance
Link to PDF Document of the Complaint