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Author Topic: Sandra Cantu #4 4/27/09 -  (Read 372858 times)
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JessStar
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« Reply #980 on: September 10, 2009, 05:21:15 PM »

About the only thing worth noting from the last article I posted is the defense hiring a change of venue expert.  No surprises there.  Expert testimony is typically required to support a motion of that type.  We knew all along that they were going to try to move the case out of San Joaquin County.  In order to make a good faith effort to do that, the party seeking to move the case has the burden of proving that he/she cannot get a fair trial for whatever reason.  Here, it will be pretrial publicity.  The "expert" will conduct surveys of potential jurors in an effort to show that seating an impartial jury is a near impossibility, and that moving the case to another county is the solution to the problem.  Such motions are rarely granted.

But in this case, I don't think it much matters.  The prosecution will argue that because the judge entered the gag order so early on, and everything has been sealed, little real evidence is known.  The court must presume that jurors will follow their instructions and to judge the case on its evidence.  There's little likelihood, in my mind, that the motion will succeed.  But, of course, I've been wrong before. 



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cece
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« Reply #981 on: September 10, 2009, 05:28:20 PM »

About the only thing worth noting from the last article I posted is the defense hiring a change of venue expert.  No surprises there.  Expert testimony is typically required to support a motion of that type.  We knew all along that they were going to try to move the case out of San Joaquin County.  In order to make a good faith effort to do that, the party seeking to move the case has the burden of proving that he/she cannot get a fair trial for whatever reason.  Here, it will be pretrial publicity.  The "expert" will conduct surveys of potential jurors in an effort to show that seating an impartial jury is a near impossibility, and that moving the case to another county is the solution to the problem.  Such motions are rarely granted.

But in this case, I don't think it much matters.  The prosecution will argue that because the judge entered the gag order so early on, and everything has been sealed, little real evidence is known.  The court must presume that jurors will follow their instructions and to judge the case on its evidence.  There's little likelihood, in my mind, that the motion will succeed.  But, of course, I've been wrong before. 






I agree.  I think the gag order will play a big role in this decision.   
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no rose colored glasses
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« Reply #982 on: September 10, 2009, 06:24:34 PM »

State Seeks Death Penalty for Melissa Huckaby
FOX40 News
September 10, 2009

 MODESTO - Prosecutors in San Joaquin County say they will seek the death penalty against Melissa Huckaby, the Tracy woman accused of kidnapping and killing 8-year-old Sandra Cantu last spring.

Attorneys announced their plan during a court hearing today in Stockton. Huckaby has not entered a plea. She has requested a new attorney.

Tracy police arrested Melissa Huckaby in April, just days after the body of Sandra Cantu was discovered in a suitcase left in a Tracy irrigation ditch. She had disappeared on March 27th walking away from her home at the Orchard Estates mobile home park.

http://www.fox40.com/news/headlines/ktxl-news-huckaby,0,1092459.story

 
Interesting that she has requested a new attorney, and glad the state is seeking the death penalty.
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no rose colored glasses
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« Reply #983 on: September 10, 2009, 06:28:18 PM »

Now I see the judge denied the request for a new attorney.
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Northern Rose
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« Reply #984 on: September 10, 2009, 07:42:58 PM »

JVM is talking about a prison report of her odd behaviour in Jail.  One time they found her hiding behind her mattress with the bedsheet around her head. 
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cece
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« Reply #985 on: September 10, 2009, 08:01:38 PM »

http://www.tracypress.com/pages/full_story/push?article-Prosecutors+to+seek+death-+Huckaby+fails+to+fire+her+attorney%20&id=3570187

STOCKTON — A prosecutor said today that he will seek the death penalty against the woman accused of kidnapping, raping and murdering 8-year-old Tracy girl Sandra Cantu.

Melissa Huckaby, 28, was indicted in July on charges that she murdered Sandra during commission of rape, and drugged two other people. She pleaded not guilty today to the charges after a hearing where she tried to fire her attorney, public defender Sam Behar. Her request — made in private while the prosecutor, the public and reporters waited outside — was denied and her reasons for wanting another attorney were undisclosed.

San Joaquin County District Attorney James Willett made the decision to seek execution after consulting attorneys and Sandra’s family, prosecutor Thomas Testa said.

Judge Linda Lofthus disclosed during today’s hearing that the defense had consulted a change-of-venue expert from Chico State University, which means Behar may file a request to move Huckaby’s trial to another county.

Lofthus also said that Huckaby sent her a letter since her last hearing, which the judge refused to read until both attorneys saw a copy of it. Testa placed the letter face-up on a table during the hearing. It appeared to be a one-page handwritten missive, penned on a leaf of binder paper. What the letter said wasn’t explained, and a gag order prevents anyone officially involved in the case from talking about the case outside of court.

Huckaby was ordered back to court on Sept. 25, when a judge may set a trial date, possibly sometime in March.

Testa asked for a January trial date because he plans to call on witnesses who are 7 or 8 years old, children who used to play with Sandra or go to school with the girl, he told the judge. If the date is too far off, their memories may fade. But Behar said he would rather have the trial start in a year-and-a-half, especially since it’s now a capital punishment case. Behar said he still has to finish reading nearly 1,800 pages of transcripts from a grand jury hearing, which the judge decided should remain sealed.

Huckaby remained calm in court today, and waved quickly at her family on her way out. Several members of Sandra’s family attended, too, accompanied by friends and their attorney.

Sandra was reportedly killed on March 27 at Clover Road Baptist Church, which Huckaby’s grandfather owns and where Huckaby herself used to watch children during church services.

The former Sunday school teacher acted up in jail before her hearing last month, according to incident reports included in her court file. She allegedly wrapped a blanket around her neck, refused dinner and said she “took pills,” according to jail employees. And on Aug. 17, she showed up to court with fresh scratches on her forehead and left forearm.

Huckaby was undergoing a mental evaluation before her April arrest for a petty theft conviction, according to court records. Family members and friends have said that she once tried to kill herself and has battled depression for a long time. Her ex-husband said she tried to kill herself by swallowing razor blades the day Sandra’s body was found in a dairy pond a couple miles north of Tracy.

In addition to charges that she drugged a 7-year-old girl in January and a 37-year-old Hayward man in March, Huckaby is accused of killing Sandra, who used to play with her 5-year-old daughter in their Tracy mobile home park. Sandra’s body was found stuffed in a suitcase in an irrigation pond north of town on April 6, 10 days after she went missing. Huckaby said she reported a black suitcase stolen the day Sandra disappeared, and that Sandra visited her house the hour she was last seen alive.
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cece
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« Reply #986 on: September 10, 2009, 08:07:28 PM »

http://www.etaiwannews.com/etn/news_content.php?id=1054334&lang=eng_news

Death sought in case of US girl found in suitcase


(???  Is it interesting that this case would be reported on in Taiwan???)
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cece
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« Reply #987 on: September 10, 2009, 08:13:35 PM »

Good night Monkeys.  Enjoy your evening.

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« Reply #988 on: September 10, 2009, 09:10:38 PM »

Good night Monkeys.  Enjoy your evening.



Thank you cece, I needed that!
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JessStar
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« Reply #989 on: September 10, 2009, 09:58:55 PM »

Now my curiosity is peaked. I'd love to know what that letter said. An unusual move. I guess, most likely, it was her request to fire her attorney. But who knows?
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mamacrazy30
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« Reply #990 on: September 10, 2009, 11:08:33 PM »

Now my curiosity is peaked. I'd love to know what that letter said. An unusual move. I guess, most likely, it was her request to fire her attorney. But who knows?

more likely (IMO) it was,  'i can't stay in jail, i want a new attorney, they are not helping me.  i'll take some pills'...and really, about that ('cause this monster makes my blood boil)  where would she get pills in jail?? 

i'm being catty and i don't care.   
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OMG  thats soooo Anthony.  (credits to miss Mae)
JessStar
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« Reply #991 on: September 11, 2009, 08:54:07 AM »

Now my curiosity is peaked. I'd love to know what that letter said. An unusual move. I guess, most likely, it was her request to fire her attorney. But who knows?

more likely (IMO) it was,  'i can't stay in jail, i want a new attorney, they are not helping me.  i'll take some pills'...and really, about that ('cause this monster makes my blood boil)  where would she get pills in jail?? 

i'm being catty and i don't care.   

Yeah, I though about that question too, MC.  Where did she get those pills?  I'm sure there are many people in prison that are willing to give her a helping hand.

I can't help to think this is all staged.  When you can't attack the evidence of guilt, the only thing left is one's mental state.  She's crazy like a fox.  She's trying to set up an insanity defense, because that's the only defense she has.

But you wanna talk catty?  I'm glad to see she's suffering.  Good for her.  I feel not an subatomic particle of sorrow for her.  (LOL)  She made her bed, now she must lay in it.  She didn't give little Sandra a choice.  She murdered her in cold blood before, during or after she violated her in a most inhumane way.  What she did was calculated.  Now she can sit in her little cell all alone and relive those moments over and over and over and over again, probably wishing she can have them back.  But she can't.  Just like Sandra's family can't have Sandra back.  She took the life of a child, and to pour salt in those wounds, disposed of Sandra's body in a most disrespectful, cold, callous way out of pure selfishness--the desire not to get caught.  There's not a hot enough place in he!! for her.  This is all, of course, based on allegations.  Innocent until proven guilty, you know.




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« Reply #992 on: September 11, 2009, 09:02:05 AM »

JessStar, I couldn't agree with you more.  My distain for her is palatable.  I hope she suffers each and every day.  I could care less that she hides behind her mattress.  Evil is evil and she is evil.
I read some of her family was in the court room yesterday and Sandra's also.  My prayers continue to Sandra's family.
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no rose colored glasses
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« Reply #993 on: September 11, 2009, 09:42:30 AM »

My thoughts and prayers are with Sandra's family and friends. An quite honestly I could care less if the guards turn their back on her, and what happens, happens.
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MonkeyinSC
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« Reply #994 on: September 11, 2009, 10:59:31 AM »

Now my curiosity is peaked. I'd love to know what that letter said. An unusual move. I guess, most likely, it was her request to fire her attorney. But who knows?



Hello JessStar, FYI....I found a couple articles about "the letter"... of course, with no specific details.

Prayers for Sandra's family !!

http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20090911/A_NEWS/909110321#STS=fzh15axn.ymy

<snipped>
Behar will continue to represent Huckaby, despite her attempt Thursday to fire the public defender from the case.
In the middle of the hearing, San Joaquin County Superior Court Judge Linda Lofthus cleared the courtroom of everybody except herself, bailiffs, Behar and Huckaby. Behar said his client wanted to talk to the judge.
Lofthus also said she received a letter from Huckaby, which the judge said she chose not to read. Behar said Lofthus could read it, implying that it had to do with Huckaby's request for a new attorney.After the hearing, Lofthus announced in open court that she denied Huckaby's request, but she gave no explanation. Lofthus ordered that the transcript of the 20-minute hearing be sealed

:: And ::

http://www.tracypress.com/pages/full_story/push?article-Prosecutors+to+seek+death-+Huckaby+fails+to+fire+her+attorney%20&id=3570187

<snipped>

Lofthus also said that Huckaby sent her a letter since her last hearing, which the judge refused to read until both attorneys saw a copy of it. Testa placed the letter face-up on a table during the hearing. It appeared to be a one-page handwritten missive, penned on a leaf of binder paper. What the letter said wasn’t explained, and a gag order prevents anyone officially involved in the case from talking about the case outside of court.
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cece
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« Reply #995 on: September 11, 2009, 11:11:53 AM »

Video report:

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/wfKJwxjIU_U&amp;hl=en&amp;fs=1&amp;rel=0&amp;color1=0x3a3a3a&amp;color2=0x999999&amp;border=1" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/v/wfKJwxjIU_U&amp;hl=en&amp;fs=1&amp;rel=0&amp;color1=0x3a3a3a&amp;color2=0x999999&amp;border=1</a>
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cece
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« Reply #996 on: September 11, 2009, 11:24:30 AM »

KCRA video report

DA To Seek Death For Huckaby

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f8vHyIrABlk
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cece
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« Reply #997 on: September 11, 2009, 11:48:33 AM »

KCRA video report

DA To Seek Death For Huckaby

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f8vHyIrABlk

Screen shots from video:


DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY, THOMAS TESTA



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« Reply #998 on: September 11, 2009, 11:56:10 AM »

Thanks cece, the only problem with the death penalty here in Ca is it takes forever to actually follow through 
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cece
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« Reply #999 on: September 11, 2009, 11:56:12 AM »

http://www.wibw.com/nationalnews/headlines/59022912.html

(CNN) -- Prosecutors will seek the death penalty against a former California Sunday school teacher accused of killing an 8-year-old girl earlier this year.

Sandra Cantu's body was found in a suitcase in an irrigation pond near where she lived.

Melissa Huckaby, 28, was indicted last month in the death of Sandra Cantu, a playmate of Huckaby's daughter. Huckaby lived in the same mobile home park as Cantu and her family in Tracy, California.

Sandra's body was found April 6, stuffed into a suitcase and submerged in a pond at a dairy farm. She was last seen alive March 27 in the mobile home park.

Huckaby is charged with kidnapping and murdering Sandra, according to the indictment, along with lewd and lascivious acts on a child under 14 and rape by instrument. She pleaded not guilty in June, but entered another not guilty plea on Thursday at a hearing, minutes of which were provided to CNN by a court spokeswoman.

Prosecutors said at the hearing Thursday they plan to seek the death penalty.

Huckaby is the granddaughter of Clifford Lane Lawless, pastor of Clover Road Baptist Church near the mobile home park, and she taught Sunday school at the church, police said.

The church was searched as part of the investigation into Sandra's disappearance and death.

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Before her arrest, Huckaby acknowledged to a newspaper reporter that she owned the suitcase that contained Sandra's body, but said it had been stolen.

In addition to the charges in Sandra's death, Huckaby is charged with attempting to poison two people, including a 7-year-old girl. A complaint alleges she "did willfully and unlawfully mingle a harmful substance with food or drink" with the intent to harm the child.

The complaint identifies the child only as "Jane M. Doe." Huckaby is also charged with one count of child abuse endangerment regarding the girl, who the complaint says was in her "care and custody." The other alleged poisoning victim was identified as Daniel Plowman, but no other information was provided.

A gag order has been imposed on parties in the case. Superior Court Judge Linda L. Lofthus has also sealed documents in the case, including the autopsy and toxicology reports and documents relating to a defense motion to exhume Sandra's body.

Huckaby remains jailed without bail. A hearing was set for September 25.
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