TRACY, Calif. – A San Joaquin County grand jury has indicted a Sunday school teacher on charges she kidnapped, raped and killed an 8-year-old girl and drugged two other people.
Melissa Huckaby, 28, broke down in tears as Judge Linda Lofthus read the indictment against her Monday.
Prosecutors convened a grand jury in late July rather than hold a preliminary hearing to determine whether Huckaby would stand trial. Lofthus said the grand jury transcript would not be made public.
Defense attorney Sam Behar asked the judge to postpone setting a trial date because he said he did not have time to read the lengthy transcript. A hearing to set a date was scheduled for Sept. 10.
Huckaby previously pleaded not guilty to murdering 8-year-old Sandra Cantu, whose body was found stuffed in a suitcase pulled from an irrigation pond in April.
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.
Sandra was last seen on a surveillance camera skipping near her Tracy home just five doors down from the defendant.
Huckaby also pleaded not guilty to drugging a 7-year-old girl earlier this year as well as a 37-year-old man, whom police believe she had dated. She is charged with two counts of furnishing someone a harmful substance and one count of child endangerment in the drugging case.