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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Sandra Cantu: Alledged Murderer Melissa Huckaby's child at center of court fight

By Daniel Thigpen
Record Staff Writer

May 20, 2009

As Melissa Huckaby faces charges she kidnapped, raped and killed 8-year-old Sandra Cantu in March, the Tracy woman's mother and ex-husband are waging a bitter court battle for custody of the murder suspect's young daughter.
On April 16, Johnny Huckaby asked a court to give him custody of their 5-year-old daughter Madison Huckaby, who was living with her mother Melissa and great grandparents Lane and Connie Lawless at the time of Sandra's murder...

Court Commissioner Walter Posey initially granted Johnny Huckaby, 25, custody of his daughter on April 20. But Posey reversed course two days later, after Melissa's mother Judy Lawless pleaded with the court to let her keep the child.

A custody hearing Monday was postponed until July 6. Johnny Huckaby, Judy Lawless and their lawyers did not return calls for comment late Tuesday...

In a recent court filing, Judy Lawless said Madison and Melissa Huckaby lived with her in Orange County from the fall of 2004 until June 2008, before moving to the Tracy mobile home park.

To avoid the news media covering Melissa Huckaby's arrest, Judy Lawless took Madison and, until April 20, was staying with a relative in Oregon, according to court documents.

Johnny Huckaby wrote in court papers that he traveled to Oregon with the court order to retrieve his daughter, but Judy Lawless had already taken her back to Southern California. He accuses her of lying to him about Madison's whereabouts.

Johnny Huckaby also claims that, in recent years, his ex-wife denied his attempts to contact their daughter, threatening to hide out in Oregon and tell Madison he was not her father.
In an April 17 interview with ABC News, the day after he filed his custody request, Johnny Huckaby said he hoped for the sake of their daughter that his ex-wife is innocent of the criminal charges that make her eligible for the death penalty.

"I do not want my daughter growing up with that type of legacy to look forward to," he said. He said their daughter was not aware of her mother's situation.

Melissa Huckaby has not entered a plea. She is scheduled to appear again in San Joaquin County Superior Court on Friday.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I understand that they still having services at their church in tracy....I think they should close it down or at least for a period of time..how sad for Sandra Cantu's Mother to have to go through all of this ....
Don't those people have a heart at all who do they serve?? do they just like the negative attention of media? Where is their Compassion for Sandra's Mother she is in my prayers always I pray for her strength through all of this