Huckaby Back in Court

A crush of media is expected Monday at a hearing for the woman accused of killing 8-year-old Tracy resident Sandra Cantu.

Former Sunday school teacher Melissa Huckaby is set to appear in court at 1 p.m.   What happens in court is considered a minor legal move according to legal experts, but it was enough to get the Today Show on NBC to send a live satelite truck for some pre-hearing coverage on national television.

She is accused of the rape and killing of Cantu, whose disappearance and death attracted national attention back in March.

A massive search for Sandra ended 10 days after her disappearance when her body was found stuffed in a black suitcase pulled from an irrigation pond a few miles from the mobile home park where she lived.

Huckaby pleaded not guilty back in June to charges she kidnapped, raped and killed the little girl.

She also pleaded not guilty to charges that she previously drugged a 7-year-old girl as well as a 37-year-old man, whom police believe she had been dating. The girl lives in the same mobile park where Huckaby lived just down the street from Sandra.

Huckaby is charged with murder with the special circumstances of rape, kidnapping and lewd or lascivious conduct with a child under 14, which could make her eligible for the death penalty if convicted. She also is charged with two counts of furnishing someone a harmful substance and one count of child endangerment in the drugging case.

Monday's hearing is not expected to make any changes in the case.  The judge has already scheduled a preliminary hearing for Huckaby to start the last week in September.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
Contact Us