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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Melissa Huckaby: Prosecutors add poisoning charges

Tracy News
May 22, 2009

Prosecutors Thursday added poisoning and child endangerment charges against Melissa Huckaby, who is accused of killing Sandra Cantu, 8.

Prosecutors allege Huckaby on Jan. 17 mixed a “harmful substance” into the food or drink of a another 7-year-old girl. They also accuse her doing the same thing on March 2 to a man named Daniel Plowman, who has no criminal history in this county and could not be found for comment...

Now prosecutors added a felony child endangerment charge against Huckaby, and two felony counts of “furnishing a harmful substance.” A gag order prevents prosecutors, investigators, or potential witnesses from discussing the case.

Cantu disappeared from the mobile home park on March 27, and 10 days later, her body was found in a suitcase in an dairy lagoon about two miles north of the mobile home park.

Huckaby on April 10 told the Tracy Press she reported a suitcase stolen the day Cantu disappeared, and police arrested her after five hours of questioning later that day.

Huckaby is in San Joaquin County Jail in French Camp, where she's charged with murder, rape with a foreign object, committing lewd and lascivious acts upon a child, kidnapping, child endangerment and poisoning.

Man faced DUI after Huckaby allegedly poisoned him
Tracy News
May 22, 2009

Police on March 3 arrested a man on suspicion of driving under the influence hours after murder suspect Melissa Huckaby, 28, allegedly poisoned him.

Daniel Plowman, 36, of Hayward, pulled into the drive-through at McDonald’s, 3430 N. Tracy Blvd., to order some food, but passed out at the wheel, according to police logs. According to an employee who called the police station at 1:30 a.m.

March 3, Plowman fell asleep in the drive-through lane, awoke, paid, got his food and crashed into a wall. His car ended up under the golden arches, according to the dispatcher’s log. Police showed up, arrested him and got a local towing company to impound Plowman’s gold Ford Tempo.

The fast food restaurant is a few minutes by car from Orchard Estates Mobile Home Park, where Huckaby lived with her grandparents before her April 10 arrest on charges that she kidnapped, raped and killed 8-year-old Tracy girl Sandra Cantu.

Records show that Plowman was never charged with a crime in San Joaquin County. Prosecutors on Thursday added three charges against Huckaby: That she allegedly drugged a man and a child, and endangered a child.A gag order prevents anyone officially involved in the case to talk about it to reporters, so the relationship between Huckaby and Plowman remains unclear.

But according to dispatch logs, Huckaby took a 7-year-old girl to a park for four hours without her mother’s permission on Jan. 17. When they got back, the girl was high on benzodiazepine, police logs show. But no arrest was made that day. Police later said that they had too little evidence to file charges.

The girl’s mother Lora Polk, 41, told the Tracy Press that the incident shook that family’s trust and that they asked Huckaby to never talk to them again. When Sandra went missing on March 27, Polk said she immediately warned police about Huckaby.

A judge has delayed her arraignment until June 12 because the defense needs time to review new evidence, including 1,000 pages of new discovery, said San Joaquin County Public Defender Sam Behar.

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