Melissa Huckaby Indicted in Sandra Cantu Murder

Melissa Huckaby Indicted in Sandra Cantu Murder
Melissa Huckaby
AP

updated 08/17/2009 at 05:55 PM EDT

originally published 08/17/2009 05:55PM

Melissa Huckaby was indicted by a grand jury on Monday on charges that she murdered her daughter's 8-year-old playmate at their Tracy, Calif. mobile home park.

Huckaby, 28, allegedly murdered Sandra Cantu on March 27, stuffed her body into a suitcase and dumped it into a lagoon. The former Sunday school teacher pleaded not guilty to the murder earlier this summer.

Although Huckaby has made several court appearances since her arrest, the indictment – by a grand jury that secretly convened in Stockton July 20 to hear testimony in her case – means the Sunday school teacher will go straight to trial and bypass her preliminary hearing, which had been tentatively scheduled for Sept. 24.

Huckaby wept on Monday as San Joaquin County Superior Court Judge Linda Lofthus read the indictment, which carries charges of kidnapping, rape, murder, and the drugging of Cantu and a 37-year-old man she may have dated.

During her court appearance Monday, it appeared she had scratches on her face and arms from a jailhouse incident, according to media reports. A trial date has not been set yet.

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