Huckaby-Ex Speaks Out

The ex-husband of the Northern California woman charged with murdering and raping an 8-year-old girl said Friday he was in "shock and complete disbelief" when his ex-wife was arrested for such a heinous crime.

John Huckaby told ABC's "Good Morning America" that he knew his ex-wife, Melissa Huckaby, as a carefree, nonviolent person, who he "could not see doing something like this."

John and Melissa Huckaby were married in 2003 and separated a year later. The couple divorced in 2005. John Huckaby said he hasn't talked to his former wife for more than three years.

Melissa Huckaby, 28, was charged Tuesday with murdering Sandra Cantu, whose body was found in a suitcase pulled from an irrigation pond 10 days after she went missing. Prosecutors added to the charge the special circumstances of rape with a foreign object, lewd or lascivious conduct with a child under 14 and murder in the course of a kidnapping.

The special circumstances mean Huckaby, if convicted, could face life in prison without the possibility of parole or the death penalty. The district attorney's office has not yet decided whether to seek the death penalty.

Huckaby has not entered a plea. Her next court appearance is April 24.

"My initial reaction was shock and complete disbelief," John Huckaby told the ABC program. "It's not something you want to think anyone possibly (is capable) of doing -- let alone somebody that you knew and that's a mother of your child."

John Huckaby said their five-year-old daughter, Madison, is in a "safe place" and doesn't know anything about the case.

Melissa Huckaby was awarded sole custody of Madison after the couple's divorce. In divorce papers, Melissa Huckaby accuses John Huckaby of child abduction, domestic violence and alcohol abuse. John Huckaby denies the allegations.

John Huckaby said Melissa Huckaby suffered from depression but was not a violent person.

He also said he hopes the allegations aren't true.

"Mainly for my daughter," he said. "I do not want my daughter growing up with that type of legacy to look forward to."

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