PUBLIC INFORMATION -- The Associated Press reports that a judge agreed Monday to
unseal files in the case of a Sunday school teacher who was sentenced to
life in prison for murdering a young girl whose body was found in a
The files were not immediately made available, however,
because the family of 8-year-old Sandra Cantu was considering whether
to appeal the ruling. If no appeal is pursued, the documents
will likely be released later this week.
Press, Bay Area News Group and The Record newspaper of Stockton sought
to have the material unsealed in the case against Melissa Huckaby.
The 29-year-old single mother pleaded guilty last month to murdering the
Tracy girl in 2009. San Joaquin County Superior Court Judge
Linda Lofthus sentenced Huckaby Monday to life without the possibility of
parole then ruled the court would unseal search warrant affidavits and a
grand jury transcript. Earlier in the day, Loftus lifted a
gag order in the case, and authorities released their investigative
Loftus said autopsy photos introduced into the court
record would remain under seal. She cited the California crime victims'
bill of rights in making that decision. Lofthus expressed
concern that Sandra's younger siblings might see the photos if they
appeared on the Internet. The content of the photos was detailed in
grand jury transcripts, she said.