Friends, Experts Skeptical of Huckaby Guilt

By Drew Nelles,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 19, 2009 1:33 PM CDT
Brian Lawless, left, father of Melissa Huckaby, and Huckaby's aunt Joni Hughes, right, leave a Stockton, Calif., courtroom after the arraignment, Tuesday, April 14, 2009.   (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)
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(Newser) – Family and friends of Melissa Huckaby can’t believe the Sunday school teacher might have killed and raped 8-year-old Sandra Cantu, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. "She was actually really mellow and a good friend, and she loved her daughter so much,” a college friend says. And with police still working the case, some observers suspect that another arrest is on the way—and that Huckaby is just covering up for a man.

One former FBI agent says it’s almost unheard of for women to perform the kind of violent sexual act Huckaby is accused of, and only 5% of US pedophiles are women. Although Huckaby has fought with depression and has a petty criminal record, “what isn't here is a lot of red flags about a hardened criminal or a sociopath,” a psychologist says. Sandra's family are somewhat less unsure and sympathetic: "Death penalty," said one uncle last week.