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Author Topic: Sandra Cantu #4 4/27/09 -  (Read 372868 times)
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JessStar
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« Reply #1260 on: May 24, 2010, 04:02:22 PM »

i agree!  never mind the fact that she drugged 2 other people and had a hidden child.  nevermind the constitution.  nevermind any of that.

to just assume the people who want info about this want the gory details, well, that says something about youselves.  how about wanting to know if she acted alone, and had only acted once?
well, i guess its not as important as the gag order being served.

you are right! we need none of this info.   and if it happens again? 
well. shucks...who da thunk?




If an investigation is ongoing there may or may not be a reason to suppress details and cause of death in a homicide. However, once a plea deal is finalized and an investigation is closed there is no longer a valid reason to deny release of the facts. I want transparency pertaining to the investigations as it relates to the murders we follow on this forum. The details are usually horrifying and heinous and the amount of suffering incalculable (interesting that crimes involving religious sacrifice, sexual torture and mutilation receive the least exposure as was the case behind the bill that was defeated). From what I know of what happened to little Ethan I dare say that at least young Sandra did not suffer for many days before being taken out of this world. His demise, IMO, was more severe in terms of length of torture and the fact that it involved his internal organs versus his sexual organs doesn’t mitigate what was done to him and one can only hope that as more information comes out that real justice will be served. As for Sandra, real justice was not served and now our right to know may be suppressed. The fact that our justice system already took the sexual element out of the equation and dropped those charges is reason enough to want to know more. There are checks and balances in this country which are being eroded because we have put blind faith in people in high places and that power needs to be monitored or our right to question it won’t be around much longer. As long as there is the possibility that MH is part of something much bigger and not just a perverted lone nut none of us should be satisfied with what little information we’ve heard thus far and that has nothing to do with the blood and gore factor. If I wanted blood and gore I’d be in Afghanistan or Iraq viewing it first hand.

N2WISHN, assume that all the gory details are released.  Besides talking about them on this forum, what are you going to do with those facts once they are released?  In other words, what that leads you to conclude that the "right to know" takes precedence over the Cantu/Chavez' families' "right to privacy?"  I'm not arguing with you, I'm just interested in seeing what factors you are using to conclude that if the record remains sealed we have unjustifiedly been denied an important right.  Should you choose to answer, keep in mind that Judge Lofthus is the "checker and the balancer," so the fear that some person in a high place having power over something or someone has done something untoward has apparently been checked, balanced, and cleared.  Unless, of course, we are conspiracy theorists and believe that Lofthus, too, is part of the conspiracy of the powerful and has sealed the record to prevent us from monitoring some other powerful person that may have something to do with this crime.



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« Reply #1261 on: May 24, 2010, 04:21:53 PM »

JessStar, I am not sure exactly why (as in factually), but it is my belief there may be other victims and even more strongly I believe there is some kind of "influence" beyond herself that caused MHuckaby to do what she did.  Many of us here take information we learn to try and see if there are other victims and/or other involved.  It has to do for me with justice.  Additionally, what I learn I endeavor to pass along to the parents and guaridans of children, as well as to the children themselves.  I live in a place where the worst recent crime last week was when kids who took hay bales and dragged them all over our little sleepy community.  It concerns me the children and the parents are so complacent.  I hear the children out late at night, particularly in the summer.  I hear random firecrackers going off.  I hear occasional target practice.  They just believe "it" can never happen here.  I don't want these children to live in fear, but I feel an absolute responsibility to keep the parents on their toes.  There is no police at all here, more than 15 miles away.  I guess I feel a responsibility and the more informed I am . . . the more I learn . . . the more I know what to look for . . .
I don't want to know the details of the things that happened to Sandra.  The picture of Ethan Stacy with his swollen jaw causes me to fall to my knees in grief.  I just want to do whatever I can to protect the beautiful children who live here.
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N2WISHN
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« Reply #1262 on: May 24, 2010, 04:24:04 PM »

i agree!  never mind the fact that she drugged 2 other people and had a hidden child.  nevermind the constitution.  nevermind any of that.

to just assume the people who want info about this want the gory details, well, that says something about youselves.  how about wanting to know if she acted alone, and had only acted once?
well, i guess its not as important as the gag order being served.

you are right! we need none of this info.   and if it happens again? 
well. shucks...who da thunk?




If an investigation is ongoing there may or may not be a reason to suppress details and cause of death in a homicide. However, once a plea deal is finalized and an investigation is closed there is no longer a valid reason to deny release of the facts. I want transparency pertaining to the investigations as it relates to the murders we follow on this forum. The details are usually horrifying and heinous and the amount of suffering incalculable (interesting that crimes involving religious sacrifice, sexual torture and mutilation receive the least exposure as was the case behind the bill that was defeated). From what I know of what happened to little Ethan I dare say that at least young Sandra did not suffer for many days before being taken out of this world. His demise, IMO, was more severe in terms of length of torture and the fact that it involved his internal organs versus his sexual organs doesn’t mitigate what was done to him and one can only hope that as more information comes out that real justice will be served. As for Sandra, real justice was not served and now our right to know may be suppressed. The fact that our justice system already took the sexual element out of the equation and dropped those charges is reason enough to want to know more. There are checks and balances in this country which are being eroded because we have put blind faith in people in high places and that power needs to be monitored or our right to question it won’t be around much longer. As long as there is the possibility that MH is part of something much bigger and not just a perverted lone nut none of us should be satisfied with what little information we’ve heard thus far and that has nothing to do with the blood and gore factor. If I wanted blood and gore I’d be in Afghanistan or Iraq viewing it first hand.

N2WISHN, assume that all the gory details are released.  Besides talking about them on this forum, what are you going to do with those facts once they are released?  In other words, what that leads you to conclude that the "right to know" takes precedence over the Cantu/Chavez' families' "right to privacy?"  I'm not arguing with you, I'm just interested in seeing what factors you are using to conclude that if the record remains sealed we have unjustifiedly been denied an important right.  Should you choose to answer, keep in mind that Judge Lofthus is the "checker and the balancer," so the fear that some person in a high place having power over something or someone has done something untoward has apparently been checked, balanced, and cleared.  Unless, of course, we are conspiracy theorists and believe that Lofthus, too, is part of the conspiracy of the powerful and has sealed the record to prevent us from monitoring some other powerful person that may have something to do with this crime.






I have an opinion and I own it. I have stated what I believe and if it doesn’t suit you personally, well “different strokes for different folks.” I’m of the belief that the ultimate ignorance is the rejection of something you know nothing about and refuse to investigate. I will always ask the whys and wherefores. There isn’t much in this world that I take on blind faith, and if that makes some kind of conspiracy theorist to your way of thinking then have at it.
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JessStar
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« Reply #1263 on: May 24, 2010, 04:36:33 PM »

i agree!  never mind the fact that she drugged 2 other people and had a hidden child.  nevermind the constitution.  nevermind any of that.

to just assume the people who want info about this want the gory details, well, that says something about youselves.  how about wanting to know if she acted alone, and had only acted once?
well, i guess its not as important as the gag order being served.

you are right! we need none of this info.   and if it happens again? 
well. shucks...who da thunk?




If an investigation is ongoing there may or may not be a reason to suppress details and cause of death in a homicide. However, once a plea deal is finalized and an investigation is closed there is no longer a valid reason to deny release of the facts. I want transparency pertaining to the investigations as it relates to the murders we follow on this forum. The details are usually horrifying and heinous and the amount of suffering incalculable (interesting that crimes involving religious sacrifice, sexual torture and mutilation receive the least exposure as was the case behind the bill that was defeated). From what I know of what happened to little Ethan I dare say that at least young Sandra did not suffer for many days before being taken out of this world. His demise, IMO, was more severe in terms of length of torture and the fact that it involved his internal organs versus his sexual organs doesn’t mitigate what was done to him and one can only hope that as more information comes out that real justice will be served. As for Sandra, real justice was not served and now our right to know may be suppressed. The fact that our justice system already took the sexual element out of the equation and dropped those charges is reason enough to want to know more. There are checks and balances in this country which are being eroded because we have put blind faith in people in high places and that power needs to be monitored or our right to question it won’t be around much longer. As long as there is the possibility that MH is part of something much bigger and not just a perverted lone nut none of us should be satisfied with what little information we’ve heard thus far and that has nothing to do with the blood and gore factor. If I wanted blood and gore I’d be in Afghanistan or Iraq viewing it first hand.

N2WISHN, assume that all the gory details are released.  Besides talking about them on this forum, what are you going to do with those facts once they are released?  In other words, what that leads you to conclude that the "right to know" takes precedence over the Cantu/Chavez' families' "right to privacy?"  I'm not arguing with you, I'm just interested in seeing what factors you are using to conclude that if the record remains sealed we have unjustifiedly been denied an important right.  Should you choose to answer, keep in mind that Judge Lofthus is the "checker and the balancer," so the fear that some person in a high place having power over something or someone has done something untoward has apparently been checked, balanced, and cleared.  Unless, of course, we are conspiracy theorists and believe that Lofthus, too, is part of the conspiracy of the powerful and has sealed the record to prevent us from monitoring some other powerful person that may have something to do with this crime.






I have an opinion and I own it. I have stated what I believe and if it doesn’t suit you personally, well “different strokes for different folks.” I’m of the belief that the ultimate ignorance is the rejection of something you know nothing about and refuse to investigate. I will always ask the whys and wherefores. There isn’t much in this world that I take on blind faith, and if that makes some kind of conspiracy theorist to your way of thinking then have at it.

Well, perhaps you missed the part of my post where I wasn't arguing with you.  However, since you want to argue, let's argue.  An opinion is something that is "rationally based on perception."  That means it must be a rational statement based on perceived facts.  So what are your perceived facts that lead to your opinion that your right to know should trump the Cantu/Chaves families right to privacy?  Candidly, an opinion is worth nothing if it isn't based on sound facts and is merely a conclusory statement as you have made.  All I asked for in my post was the facts behind your opinion.  I never said you weren't entitled to your opinion.  I'd just like to know what makes your opinion tick because, like you, I don't take opinions on blind faith. 

If you need an example, take a look at what Sister wrote.  She obviously took my "challenge" without taking offense and came up with a pretty thoughtful response.  Thank you sister.


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Sister
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« Reply #1264 on: May 24, 2010, 04:38:47 PM »

JessStar, I assuredly do not believe Judge Lofthus is a conspirator, however, I think at this moment, and I could be wrong, MHuckaby could in fact change her mind before sentencing.  Am I wrong?
I must admit I don't have the sense of the checks and balances you do.  Having seen the workings (or more accurately the lack of workings) in the Christine Sheddy case, I am somewhat jaded.  Admittedly, it has nothing to do with a Judge -- just the judicial system and local LE.
Glad the weekend was so successful with the remembrance of Nevaeh.  Information and awareness in the hands of children and the adults is empowering!!!
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« Reply #1265 on: May 24, 2010, 04:47:57 PM »

JessStar, I assuredly do not believe Judge Lofthus is a conspirator, however, I think at this moment, and I could be wrong, MHuckaby could in fact change her mind before sentencing.  Am I wrong?
I must admit I don't have the sense of the checks and balances you do.  Having seen the workings (or more accurately the lack of workings) in the Christine Sheddy case, I am somewhat jaded.  Admittedly, it has nothing to do with a Judge -- just the judicial system and local LE.
Glad the weekend was so successful with the remembrance of Nevaeh.  Information and awareness in the hands of children and the adults is empowering!!!

Thanks Sister!  We worked VERY hard on that event and it was a GREAT success. We're very happy.  Today is emotionally charged for us because Nevaeh disappeared this day a year ago.  I wrote a tribute to her of sorts on our website this morning.  You can read it if you'd like by clicking the little globe under my profile.

Yes, Huckaby can try to withdraw her plea, which is the real reason why Lofthus denied the motion.  I doubt very much that will happen.  Legally, the media's motion was premature.  They should have waited.  But Lofthus left the door open to lifting the gag order and unsealing the reacord once Huckaby is sentenced.

I understand your frustration with the legal system.  Having practiced law now for going on 17 years, I've seen the good, the bad and the ugly.  The one thing I can say with some authority, though, is that the sytem gets it right 99% of the time.  The problem is that 1% when the system seemingly gets it wrong.  That hurts.


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« Reply #1266 on: May 24, 2010, 05:15:16 PM »

JessStar, your words are so painfully beautiful (I clicked on your site).  It was for me too Sandra Cantu who has caused me to go on a different path.  I am ordained clergy and for anyone who has such a trusted position in their community, it really goes beyond responsibility . . . it is a passion to do all I can to keep this children safe, yes, even in our little sleepy part of the world.  Having never left Sandra's case I followed to Nevaeh, I went with some other researchers to Lindsey's Baums case, to Christine Sheddy, and now Ethan Stacy.  It isn't that I don't care about the other children, but my heart can only hold so much rage and grief.
I do understand about the 1% and statistically it's good, unless one of the wee little ones who have branded their spirits in yours is the 1%.  Possibly, legally, the judge in Ethan's case did what was "correct" -- but Lord, to send a small child across the country with a non-custodial parent for the summer . . . JessStar, it is more than my brain can comprehend.  I know it is easy to have a bright, shiny crystal ball after the fact . . . but my rage has not abated.  Forgiveness please if I have spoken out of line.
We can debate and even argue . . . our bottom line is the same . . . to protect the little ones and to speak again for those who cannot speak for themselves.
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« Reply #1267 on: May 24, 2010, 07:27:43 PM »

Wow sister, you just reminded me of something I overlooked. When I was making my comments, I totally overlooked the Family law system probably because I've never practiced
family law and I was focused principally on the criminal justice system.  In fact I've consciously avoided it family law.  But you are absolutely right. The family law system fails our children time and time again.  Ethan is a perfect example. But there are many many more kids that fall victim to an outdated family law system than you can possibly imagine. Frankly I don't believe the 1% statistic applies to that branch. Sadly I think the
number is much higher. 
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« Reply #1268 on: May 25, 2010, 08:41:12 PM »

May 25, 2010 5:00 pm US/Pacific Sandra Cantu's Mother Makes Plea For Privacy

 Should Details On The Case Be Released? Chime In On David Begnaud's Facebook Page.
http://cbs13.com/local/sandra.cantu.mother.2.1714960.html

The mother of Sandra Cantu wrote a letter to the judge presiding over the trial of the Melissa Huckaby, pleading for a permanent order to keep details about the young girl's murder sealed from the public.

Maria Chavez filed a four-page letter to the court in response to several media requests for court documents.

 Read Full Letter (.pdf)

"As a mother, it falls on me to protect my family and not let them be hurt anymore. We have all been damaged enough and I don't know how we will ever heal," the letter said. "Any publication... will be morally traumatizing."

Judge Linda Loftus has already ruled in favor of Chavez, saying the details surrounding Sandra Cantu's kidnapping, rape and murder will not be made public until June at the earliest, when Melissa Huckaby will be sentenced to life in prison.

Huckaby entered a guilty plea on May 10, almost a year after she was first charged with the murder. Media outlets are expected to again ask for the judge to lift the gag order and unseal the grisly details in the case after she is sentenced.

Chavez asked the judge to deny those requests, saying the few details that have already been released have traumatized her family.

"We cannot carry any more weight in our lives, and if the photographs and forensic examinations of my daughter are disclosed I don't know how we would ever be able to cope," Chavez wrote.

"The thoughts that run through my head about my daughter's last moments are not something any parent should have to experience. I am tortured by it," the letter continues. "Every member of my family carries constant regrets and a sense of guilt over the things we could've done differently. Not one of us needs additional reminders of the horrible crimes Sandra's suffered."

Chavez wrote that she knows a sexual assault exam was performed on Sandra, but doesn't know and doesn't want to know what the results were.
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« Reply #1269 on: May 26, 2010, 09:56:07 AM »

Here are a few comments from Ms. Chavez' letter to the court that deserve serious consideration.  After all, neither her, nor her family, asked to be the lead characters in this tragedy.

1.  The death of Sandra has devastated my family.  This case has been publicized and every time we see an article in the paper, on television, or hear anything about the case on the radio or in the community, we are re-traumatized, re-victimized and gravely saddened beyond description.

2.  Following the most recent court appearance in this matter, the press was waiting outside the courthouse as we exited. . . News people with cameras followed us all the way to the place where we had parked our car. . . by the time we reached home in Tracy, there were four or five news vans waiting for us. . . They would not leave us alone.  It finally became necessary to call the police to have the media people and vehicles removed from the premises.

3.  The death of Sandra has been particularly devastating to my two younger children . . . who now show fear and emotional pain because of what happened to Sandra.

4.  Sandra's death and the details that have been made public to date have truly traumatized us all.  I cannot imagine the trauma and horror that my children will experience if any crime scene photographs of Sandra are released, or details of the forensic examinations of her become public.  They have already experienced a level of pain tha tis hard to imagine.  We believe that if the information is released, it would take allof us to another level of pain that would be unimaginable and may not be bearable.

5.  Every member of my family carries constant regrets and a sense of guilt over things we could have done differently.  Not one of us needs additional reminders of the horrible crimes Sandra suffered.

6.  We are sure that there are gruesome and horrific facts contained in teh cirme scene photographs of Sandra and the examinations of her after her death. . . We do not know, and do not wish to know, the horrendous facts about teh specifics of the kidnapping and murder of our dear Sandra.

7.  Dissemination of the above material . . . will further inflict harm upon us by making this information of Sandra the subject of media sensationalism.

8.  Whenever we see of hear about the heinous crimes which took the dignity and life of our beloved Sandra, we will have nightmares when we think about how she must have spent the last few minutes or seconds of her life.  We all fear that the release of additional photographs and graphic information would cause this family to be the continuing focus of long-standing injurious media coverage, and cause irreparable harm to all of us.

9.  I can state with complete confidence that my entire family is in agreement with the negotiated plea agreement which will result in Melissa Huckaby spending the rest of her life in prison with no possibility of parole.  The District Attorney's office has done their job well, has fully represented the People of California, and any claim by the media that additional facts are needed to evaluate the reasonableness and fairness of the plea agreement ignores the fact that my family and I are conviced that the negotiated plea was, and is, appropriate.  We are both comfortable and satisfied with this result, and are able to find peace from this resolution; this peace will be shattered should the investigative details and reports be opened up for "scrutiny" by the public at large, which will directly affect my family and me.

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« Reply #1270 on: May 26, 2010, 12:39:47 PM »

It certainly is a very compelling argument that Ms Chavez pleads. I cannot for a moment imagine what they are going through. Sandra was a beautiful little girl, full of life and was very much loved by her family.

Don't bash me Jess, but I have to admit I am in the middle on this. Not that I need or even wish to know what happened to Sandra but it does worry me to have a court rule against the publics right to know, I fear it will bleed into other area's of law. Transparency laws are what sets us apart from some other countries.  Again, I do not want to know what happened to Sandra, my imagination is good enough. I certainly do not want Sandra's friends and family to be further hurt, no way. I am just not convinced it is a good idea to start seeling court records. I fear something like this starts with good intentions and then turns horribly bad.

Perhaps since the problem is the press releasing and continually reporting information that would further harm the family and disrespect the memory of the victim, perhaps the constitutional amendment, "freedom of the press" should have a few amendments restricting them from reporting on the gory details. 
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« Reply #1271 on: May 26, 2010, 03:00:08 PM »

It certainly is a very compelling argument that Ms Chavez pleads. I cannot for a moment imagine what they are going through. Sandra was a beautiful little girl, full of life and was very much loved by her family.

Don't bash me Jess, but I have to admit I am in the middle on this. Not that I need or even wish to know what happened to Sandra but it does worry me to have a court rule against the publics right to know, I fear it will bleed into other area's of law. Transparency laws are what sets us apart from some other countries.  Again, I do not want to know what happened to Sandra, my imagination is good enough. I certainly do not want Sandra's friends and family to be further hurt, no way. I am just not convinced it is a good idea to start seeling court records. I fear something like this starts with good intentions and then turns horribly bad.

Perhaps since the problem is the press releasing and continually reporting information that would further harm the family and disrespect the memory of the victim, perhaps the constitutional amendment, "freedom of the press" should have a few amendments restricting them from reporting on the gory details. 

I'm certainly not going to bash you Traceygirl!  You have the right to your opinion.  This is a very interesting debate.  Let me ask you what you think of this.

There's nothing in the Constitution that says the public has the right to know everything under every conceivable circumstance.   Moreover, Freedom of the Press isn't really the issue.  I believe the issue arises under California's Right to Know law.  The issue is, therefore, how do you balance two equally valid and important interests?

Nonetheless, consider that every right that finds its genesis in the Constitution has, at one point or another, been subject to "restriction" for lack of a better term.  For example, we all enjoy freedom of speech, but not if the words we use are intended to incite violence.  We all have the right to criticize government, but not if the criticism amounts to a threat.  We all have the right to vote in elections, but you can't vote in federal elections if you're a felony convict (state laws on the issue vary from state to state).  These "restrictions" are not founded in constitutional amendments, but in decisions from our Supreme Court.

In an earlier post, I encouraged Ms. Chavez' attorneys to appeal this case to the United States Supreme Court if they find themselves on the losing side of the scales of justice.  That's because I think they'll win.  Here's why.

In January of this year, our Supreme Court recognized that the Public's Right to Know has its limits.  In the case (and I can't remember the name of the case right now), the Supreme Court addressed whether a California Court's ruling allowing television coverage of a trial involving California's controverisial Proposition 8 (which banned gay marriage).  The attorneys representing opponents of same-sex marriage argued that televised coverage would lead to harassment, economic reprisal, threats, and so forth.  The other side argued that the proceedings should be televised because the issue was one of public interest and the public had the right to know.  The Supreme Court sided with the opponents.  While it did not get into a detailed analysis of the pros and cons, it certainly acknowledged that, due to possibility of reprisal and effect on "victims," the public's right to know must be subordinated and, therefore, cameras in the courtroom could be denied.

Being an officer of the court, I am certainly sensitive to the "slippery slope" argument that restricting public dissemination of gruesome evidence in cases like Sandra's may lead to restrictions in other cases.  While I see that as a decent conceptual argument, I don't see it in practice.  New technology and the Web have spurred understandable anxiety from people concerned about having the details of their lives shared with strangers.  Moreover, lawmakers tend to write bills limiting information when they believe the news media may exploit it.  The best example of that came shortly after the death of Dale Earnhardt in 2001. As part of its investigation into the crash that killed Earnhardt, the Orlando Sentinel asked to see the autopsy photos. The Sentinel had no plans to publish those images, but merely asking to see them led to a torrent of public outrage and legislation in Florida and other states declaring that autopsy photos would no longer be public records. Without Earnhardt's fame, those bills would not have become law.  So, my guess is that Sandra's case will result in a similar law in California because, had it not been for Sandra's "fame," (God Rest Her Soul) we wouldn't even be having this discussion.





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« Reply #1272 on: May 26, 2010, 07:34:09 PM »

Hi Jessstar, thank you for not bashing. I have only time to skim your post at the moment but will read through it carefully later this evening and respond. I didn't want you to feel I was ignorning you.
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« Reply #1273 on: May 31, 2010, 04:38:53 PM »

Hi Jess,
I have been gone for a few days, I was sick, yet again. I think that makes 17 times since January!
I have to say, it is difficult to respond to you given you, well you are just smarter then I am, lol. Given your being a lawyer you obviously know more about the law then I do.

There is much about this subject I am on the fence about but will concede to any autopsy, photos of Sandra's body need to remain sealed out of respect for not just the family, but for Sandra.
I do think there are some details of this case that can be released if for nothing else then to help educated society. I don't think the public has to know what happened in detail to Sandra, but reading about how she was able to accomplish this murder might help someone else avoid being murdered.
I agree with the poster that talked about our courts need transparency. I would also like to know if the court is hiding something that happened during the course of investigating this  case given the case in January 2009 when MH drugged the little girl but the girls mom was suspected. Tracy PD scares the hell out of me, that is why I do not live there anymore.  On the other hand,  I agree with you too that sometimes that can harm as much as help. So as in political issues I find myself on middle ground.
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« Reply #1274 on: June 14, 2010, 12:42:41 PM »

LIFE WITHOUT THE POSSIBILITY OF PAROLE
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« Reply #1275 on: June 14, 2010, 12:44:42 PM »

http://cbs5.com/crime/sandra.cantu.murder.2.1750267.html

 Jun 14, 2010 9:23 am US/Pacific
Life Sentence, No Parole In Cantu Murder
 CBS 5 CrimeWatch
STOCKTON (CBS 5 / AP) ―

A Sunday school teacher who pleaded guilty to kidnapping and murdering a neighbor girl in Tracy was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole Monday morning during a tearful sentencing hearing in which the girl's killer addressed the victim's family.

The sentence for 29-year-old Melissa Huckaby was expected following her surprise guilty plea last month; a deal with prosecutors that took the death penalty off the table.

Huckaby also had been charged with sexually abusing 8-year-old Sandra Cantu, whose body was found in a suitcase pulled from an irrigation pond not far from the mobile home community where both had lived. The sexual abuse charges were dropped as part of the plea deal.

In a surprise, Huckaby apologized to Cantu's family, saying, "I shouldn't have taken Sandra from you. She did not suffer and I did not sexually molest your daughter."

Earlier, during victim family statements, the girl's maternal aunt, Angela Chavez, played a video of the victim's short life as family members dissolved into tears.  Cantu's father, Daniel Cantu completely broke down, and told Huckaby to "repent and think about what you've done."

Authorities have released few details about the March 2009 killing, including a possible motive for Huckaby.

The judge in the case has lifted the gag order that was in effect during the trial.  A hearing was scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Monday to decide what other information about the case will be released.
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« Reply #1276 on: June 14, 2010, 02:25:42 PM »

Thank-you Klaas.   
In a surprise, Huckaby apologized to Cantu's family, saying, "I shouldn't have taken Sandra from you. She did not suffer and I did not sexually molest your daughter."        Interesting, not sure what to think about this.
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« Reply #1277 on: June 14, 2010, 03:18:24 PM »

http://abcnews.go.com/US/Media/melissa-huckaby-confessed-murderer-year-girl-sentenced-life/story?id=10910285

Melissa Huckaby Used Noose to Kill 8-Year-old Sandra Cantu
Former Sunday School Teacher Apologized for Killing Sandra Cantu
June 14, 2010

Former Sunday school teacher Melissa Huckaby used a noose to strangle 8-year-old Sandra Cantu, officials revealed today during the confessed killer's sentencing.
Huckaby, 29, pleaded guilty last month to first degree murder and kidnapping "with enhancements" to avoid the death penalty.

Today in court, a sobbing Huckaby apologized to Sandra's family, saying: "I should not have taken her from you."

"I owe you an explanation. But I still cannot understand why I did what I did," she said.

She was sentenced to life without parole.

Many of the details of the grisly crime have previously been kept from the public, sealed under a judge's gag order. The judge lifted that order and the prosecutor revealed for the first time how Sandra was killed.
Quoting the pathologist's report, prosecutor Tom Testa said Sandra had been strangled with a torn piece of cloth that had been knotted into "a noose." He said the cause of death was "homicidal asphyxiation."

Previously released court documents had revealed that Huckaby was accused of poisoning Sandra, and sexually assaulting her with a foreign object, before killing her and dumping her body in an irrigation pond.
The sexual assault charge was dropped as part of the plea deal Huckaby made with prosecutors to avoid the death penalty in May.

Huckaby today denied having sexually assaulted the girl and asked Sandra's mother Maria Chavez for forgiveness.

"She did not suffer, and I did not sexually molest her,
" Huckaby said. "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."

But according to the pathologist's reported cited by Testa, Sandra suffered a cut to her lip, an abrasion to her elbow and injuries to her genitals.

Testa said toxicology tests also found the drug alprazolam, used to treat anxiety disorders, in Cantu's body. Bottles of alprazolam were found in Huckaby's home and purse, Testa said.

Sandra Cantu  Last Seen Skipping Home

Sandra's family live in the same Tracy, Calif., trailer park where Huckaby lived with her grandparents and 5-year-old daughter.

Huckaby's grandfather Clifford Lawless is pastor at the nearby church, where the confessed murderer previously taught Sunday school, and which authorities searched in the days leading up to Huckaby's arrest.
Sandra went missing in March 27, 2009. Her body, stuffed in a suitcase, was found two weeks later and Huckaby was arrested that April, when police linked the suitcase to Huckaby. Huckaby told conflicting stories to police and the media about the black Eddie Bauer suitcase, which she said she left in her driveway.

Testa revealed for the first time some of the evidence, including surveillance video and eyewitness testimony that connected Sandra to Huckaby.

Testa said surveillance video from the trailer park showed Cantu skipping toward her home on March 27 when something caught her eye. Testa said Cantu "looks over in the direction of Melissa Huckaby's residence. Then she drops off the face of the earth."

The videotape then shows Huckaby, eight minutes later, driving out of the mobile home park in the direction of her grandfather's church, Clover Road Baptist Church. Testa said about the time Huckaby was leaving, she phoned the trailer park manager to report her black suitcase stolen in front of her trailer.

The prosecutor said another surveillance tape showed Huckaby driving away from the church and then returning to the church 30 minutes later. In that 30-minute window, a retired marine and his wife saw Huckaby and her SUV at the irrigation pond where Sandra's body would later be found stuffed inside a suitcase.

The gag order was initially established to prevent too many details from becoming public, which could have influenced a jury. Since then the Cantu family has argued that a California statue called Marsy's Law allows for the details to remain sealed.

 Judge Lifts Gag Order in Sandra Cantu  Case


Several media outlets have petitioned to have the details released and many assume more information will be forthcoming following the sentencing.

Today the judge lifted the order and police are expected to reveal more details later in the day.
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« Reply #1278 on: June 14, 2010, 03:38:39 PM »

she sat right there and lied about what she did not do.

abrasion to her elbow and injuries to her genitals.

Testa said toxicology tests also found the drug alprazolam, used to treat anxiety disorders, in Cantu's body. Bottles of alprazolam were found in Huckaby's home and purse, Testa said.

________________________
she did suffer, she was drugged. 
what a liar...

and I still believe someone else was involved in this. 

she also reported the suitcase stolen as she was driving to the church with sandra... she knew what she was going to do or she would not have already reported the suitcase stolen... premeditated.... she knew what she was going to do, she had it planned. 

so how long was she at the church?  this is what I want to know... and I want to know who else was there?
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« Reply #1279 on: June 14, 2010, 04:13:01 PM »

She is a liar, or is she? perhaps she didn't sexually molest Sandra and that deed was done by someone else.

God rest Sandra's soul. 

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