Friday, September 11, 2009

Huckaby Will Face The Death Penalty

"The People are seeking the death penalty in this case," announced Deputy District Attorney Thomas Testa in San Joaquin County Superior Court yesterday. The decision to seek the death penalty was made by District Attorney James Willett following discussions with Sandra Cantu’s family and the San Joaquin homicide unit.

The statement preceded Huckaby pleading not guilty to the five-count indictment handed down by the criminal grand jury.

The court frustrated DDA Testa because no date was set for the trial. Testa pressed for the trial to begin in January however, defense attorney Sam Behar said he wasn’t ready, but expected he could be in 18 months – a timeframe he called reasonable.

Judge Linda Lofthus said 1 1/2 years was excessive and she felt January was too early indicating she was leaning toward a March trial and ordered Huckaby to return to court on September 25 when a trial date may be scheduled.

Huckaby was arrested in April for the kidnapping, rape, and murder of Sandra Cantu.

Huckaby is also charged with attempting to poison two people; an adult male and a 7-year-old girl. The complaint alleges she "did willfully and unlawfully mingle a harmful substance with food or drink" with the intent to harm.

I can only imagine the frustration Sandra’s family must feel.

Mercury News



CaliGirl9 said...

At least the DP is out there. Let the jury hear the facts of the case and decide. I think it's going to be hard for a jury to give the DP to a woman, especially one who is probably mentally ill (but not legally insane).

I still think a change of venue will pop up. This case is as high profile as the Laci & Connor Peterson murder, and that was moved from Stanislaus County (which is just south of San Joaquin County) to San Mateo County. There is a limited jury pool in both SJ & Stan counties: 672K and 511K respectively, versus 1.7 million for Santa Clara, 1.4 million in Alameda and 713K for San Mateo Counties.

At least the SJ county DA listened to Sandra's family's input, unlike SF's DA Kamala Harris NOT taking Danielle Bologna's desires in mind. Remember California—this woman has huge political ambitions. Do you really want her as YOUR attorney general? Seriously, think about it.

Anonymous said...

I have long been against the death penalty....wavering, but cannot see that in CA nobody has been executed in years. It leads to endless years of appeals and money.
Not saying it is deserved, and I am sticking my neck out here in saying this on this forum, but by putting the DP on the line, it opens up years for mental evaluations and as I am not law enforcement, or a DA, who knows what else. I truly believe this woman has HUGE issues, not that it is an excuse, it is NOT. So, I am conflicted. As there is a lockdown on info, is she being evaluated? Is her family, her father, the church, whatever, being looked into? I hope so.
Sick woman, no doubt, but killers are. Being sick doesn't excuse. Just wondering what the DP will add to justice. And I am open to any dialogue, as as I have said, changing my views, but wondering if 20 plus years or more of litagation, of appeals, etc., will bring any closure to Sandra's family.

donchais said...


Yes, she is and continues to be mentally evaluated. Her 'GRAND' father and the church have been investigated at length; this has all been reported.

Please remember, this is not the first assault on a child - she is up on charges for drugging a 7-year-old girl. She also drugged a 30-something male.

My questions would be...has she done this to other children? What has she done to her own daughter?

I have read information (albeit, it is supposed to be gagged) that if true, when it comes out in court as to the manner of the death and rape - God help her because there may be a public lynching if this 8-year-old suffered what I have read - she may be crazy, but sly like a fox IMHO.

Anonymous said...

Donchais, what in the world have you learned regarding the manner of death? I know it must be horrible given the judge's comment when she ordered everything sealed. I still find it hard to comprehend that a mother could do this. I am convinced she abused her own child. No way she started with neighbors. I believe the dp is appropriate in this case.

September MOO

donchais said...

Anon 9/12 -

What I have read, I have not printed because:

1. The records were sealed by the court

2. There is no way for me to verify what I read

I pray that what I read was just some sick individual being an idiot; seeking their 5 minutes of fame!

We will all have to wait and see what comes out in court.

Anonymous said...

It is a horrible case; 18 months until trial seems ridiculous. I am against any death penalty but this needs to be dealt with quickly and with compassion for the victims in this case.