The Central California Sunday school teacher accused of killing an 8-year-old playmate of her daughter, then hiding the body in a suitcase, pleaded guilty to murder Monday.
San Joaquin County court officials said Melissa Huckaby
entered the plea to first-degree murder with a special circumstance of kidnapping. In a deal with prosecutors, all other charges -- including two other special circumstances of rape and lewd or lascivious conduct with a child -- were dropped.
Authorities said the 29-year-old woman killed Sandra Cantu
in March 2009. A search for the missing girl ended when her body was found in a suitcase pulled from an irrigation pond near the Tracy mobile home park where the defendant and victim lived.
Huckaby faces a sentence of 25 years to life in prison without parole.
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