STOCKTON -- The Northern California woman charged with kidnapping, raping and murdering 8-year-old girl, whose body was found stuffed in a suitcase, will face the death penalty.
Melissa Huckaby pleaded not guilty in June to murdering Sandra Cantu.
The 28-year-old former Sunday School teacher showed no emotion as San Joaquin County prosecutor Thomas Testa told the court Thursday of his office's intention to seek the death penalty.
Sandra's family also attended the hearing.
Also Thursday, Huckaby asked the judge for a new attorney and possible trial dates were being discussed.
Huckaby was arrested April 10, just days after Sandra Cantu's body was found in a suitcase pulled from an irrigation pond near her home in a Tracy mobile home park.
Huckaby was a Sunday school teacher at her grandfather's small church.
Authorities believe Sandra was killed in the church, which is next to the trailer park where both Huckaby and the girl's family live.
Huckaby also pleaded not guilty to charges drugging a 7-year-old girl as well as a 37-year-old man, whom police believe she had dated.
Huckaby to Face Death Penalty in Cantu Murder
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