8-Year-Old's Killer Gets Life

Melissa Huckaby denies sexually abusing Sandra Cantu
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Suggested by Disillusioned
Posted Jun 14, 2010 1:59 PM CDT
In this April 14, 2009 photo, Melissa Huckaby, 28, is shown in a Stockton, Calif., courtroom during her arraignment.   (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, Pool)
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(Newser) – A California Sunday school teacher who pleaded guilty to kidnapping and murdering an 8-year-old neighbor made a tearful apology to the victim's family today as she was sentenced to life in prison. "She did not suffer, and I did not sexually molest her," said Melissa Huckaby, who avoided the death penalty with the plea. "I'm asking you, Maria, for your forgiveness. I can't imagine forgiving someone who harmed my daughter. I hope someday you can forgive me."

Huckaby entered her surprise plea last month to first-degree murder with a special circumstance of kidnapping in the death of Sandra Cantu, whose body was found in a suitcase pulled from an irrigation pond. All other charges, including allegations that Huckaby sexually abused the girl, were dropped.

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