Huckaby Pleads Not Guilty in Murder of 8-Year-Old Girl

By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 12, 2009 4:54 PM CDT
Maria Chavez, right, is embraced by her daughter Miranda during a memorial service for her slain daughter Sandra Cantu.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Melissa Huckaby, the Sunday school teacher accused of kidnapping, raping, and murdering an 8-year-old girl in California, pleaded not guilty today, KPIX-TV reports. Sandra Cantu, a playmate of 28-year-old Huckaby’s daughter, was found in a suitcase in a nearby pond in April. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for September. Prosecutors had been pressing for a plea while Huckaby’s lawyer reviewed evidence. (Read more Melissa Huckaby stories.)