STOCKTON—A San Joaquin County judge has accepted a guilty plea from Sandra Cantu kidnapping and murder suspect Melissa Huckaby.
Under a plea agreement reached with the San Joaquin County District Attorney, Huckaby will be sentenced June 12th to a prison term of life without the possibility of parole for the murder and kidnap of 8-year-old Sandra Cantu of Tracy last year.
Cantu was reported missing from her Tracy mobile home park March 28th by family members who told authorities she had planned on playing with a friend. The body of the 8-year-old was recovered from a sealed suitcase found in an irrigation canal April 7th.
The following day, Huckaby told FOX40 News and local newspaper The Tracy Press her suitcase was reported stolen from the driveway of her mobile home the day Cantu went missing. Authorities contradicted Huckaby's statement by saying no police report was ever filed. Huckaby, whose daughter regularly played with Cantu, told reporters her suitcase was filled with Sunday school supplies.
Huckaby's interview with various media outlets, including FOX40 News, led authorities to suspect the Sunday school teacher in connection with the disappearance and murder of Cantu. Huckaby was arrested April 8th.
On May 21st, Huckaby received an additional charge of "providing a harmful substance" to a 7-year-old girl after it was determined she was involved in January 2009. Huckaby was also charged with slipping a drug substance to a man identified as Daniel Plowman in March.
Under the plea agreement reached Monday morning, all additional charges brought against Huckaby were dropped.