Home > Crime > Melissa Huckaby Pleads Guilty in the Death of Sandra Cantu

Melissa Huckaby Pleads Guilty in the Death of Sandra Cantu


8-year old Sandra Cantu was last seen alive on March 27, 2009.  10 days later, her body was found stuffed in a suitcase and discarded in an irrigation pond.

Huckaby was indicted on charges of murder, kidnapping, lewd and lascivious acts on a child under 14, and rape by instrument and one count of committing


a sex crime against a child 10 years old or younger.  She was also indicted in the alleged drugging of a man and another little girl from the trailer park where Sandra had lived.

Yesterday was a scheduled hearing for Huckaby and attorneys, Sam Behar and Michael Burt, to set a date for an evidence suppression hearing.

No one suspected Huckaby would enter a plea.  She pleaded guilty to the kidnapping and murder of Sandra that prompted prosecutors to drop the death penalty and all additional charges against her.

Prosecutor Thomas Testa asked the Judge to question Huckaby to determine her state of mind during the proceeding to avoid the possibility of Huckaby changing her mind later.

Judge Linda Lofthus asked several questions that Huckaby answered clearly, without hesitation or emotion and declared, “She seems fine to me.”

Lofthus had placed a gag order in the case that she is now considering lifting.

Huckaby will spend the rest of her life in prison without the possibility of parole after she is sentenced June 14 in Stockton.

Sandra’s family hugged each other outside the courtroom.

Sandra Cantu

I hope the family finds some comfort in the plea and young Sandra Cantu can rest in peace now.




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