Web Site Hit Counter

Monday, April 27, 2009

Cantu autopsy to remain sealed to avoid 'outrage'

April 27, 2009

STOCKTON — Results of autopsy and toxicology reports on slain 8-year-old Sandra Cantu could so infuriate the public that a judge asked them to remain sealed.

To release the reports would risk “a danger of public outrage” and threaten the Cantu family’s privacy, said San Joaquin County Superior Court Judge Linda Lofthus at an arraignment today for suspected murder-rapist 28-year-old Melissa Chantel Huckaby.

Huckaby entered no plea.“There is no doubt that the public considers the rape and murder of a child a heinous crime,” said Lofthus, who issued a gag order Tuesday. To seal all the documents related to the case will ensure a fair trial for both sides, she continued.

The defense dropped its request to exhume the little girl’s body.

Prosecutor Thomas Testa said both sides need about a month to review findings, which includes nearly 500 pages of written evidence and some audio recordings, he said. Lofthus ordered Huckaby back in court at 1 p.m. May 22 in Dept. 14 for further arraignment.

Huckaby’s demeanor in court today came as a stark contrast to her near-emotional breakdown at her first arraignment earlier this month. She smiled a few times at her public defender, Sam Behar. She stared calmly at the judge and at the dozens of reporters and the bailiffs who surrounded her during the brief hearing. She wore her hair down.

She sat calmly before the packed courtroom; her family sat behind her in the audience — father, Brian Lawless; grandmother, Connie Lawless; and aunt, Joni Hughes. Sandra’s family sat on the opposite side of the room. The girl’s uncle and aunt, Joe and Angie Chavez, sat with Sandra’s grandparents, José and Dolores Chavez. Susan Levy joined them. Sandra’s father, Daniel Cantu, and her mother, Maria Chavez, were absent.

Reporters crowded the courtroom. The judge banned all cameras and audio recorders, so photographers waited outside. The media attention has been overwhelming for everyone involved, the judge said. “This is the kind of case that we’ve never experienced in San Joaquin County,” Lofthus said.

Police arrested Huckaby on April 10, four days after they found Sandra’s body inside a waterproof suitcase. The girl went missing on March 27. Huckaby was booked at San Joaquin County Jail without bail on charges that she kidnapped Sandra, raped her with some object and killed her.

As charged, the single mother of a 5-year-old girl now faces the death penalty or life without possibility of parole if convicted.


Anonymous said...

Knowing that Huckaby is a jew, could it be that she used a cross to molest the little Christian? The answer is yes! Jews do those kinds of things. She didn't do it to HER little girl, did she?

Janet said...

Anonymous: With words like that i think you should leave your name or some simile of.

Huckaby's grandfather AND father are Christian ministers. She was teaching in a Christian Sunday school, her grandfather congregation. Where do you get this Jew stuff?

And what makes you think Jews "do those kinds of things". I've followed and studied many murder cases, and can not think of even one that was committed by a Jew.

You are an ignorant bigot.


Janet said...

Ok, Phil Spector 1/8th racially but not religiously, and David Berkowitz, who was adopted, thus not racially, but spiritually raised Jewish.

But you are still an ignorant bigot. Jews very rarely kill.