Today Melissa Huckaby, the neighbor of 8-year old Sandra Cantu (and also a Sunday school teacher and mom) who plead guilty to first-degree murder last month was sentenced to life in prison for Sandra's murder.
The gag order regarding the details of the murder was also released today. But *warning* the details of the killing are not for the faint of heart.
At today's sentencing, Huckaby cried through her apology to Sandra's family but offered no motive for the killing
In her apology, she offered these words: "I still cannot understand why I did what I did. This is a question I will struggle with for the rest of my life." She also added that Sandra "did not suffer, and I did not sexually molest her."
The details of the killing have been kept under wraps due to a gag order until today. A summary was released by the prosecutors, which showed the cause of death as "homicidal asphyxiation."
A pathologist's report in the summary also concluded that Sandra was found with a piece of bloody cloth tied around her head and traces of the prescription sedative alprazolam in her system, the same medication that was found in Huckaby's purse and home.
And although allegations of sexual abuse were dropped as part of Huckaby's first-degree murder plea deal last month, Sandra also had injuries to her external genitalia that were consistent with a bent, blood-stained rolling pin found at Huckaby's grandfather's church where she taught Sunday school. The blood stain matched Sandra Cantu's blood.
The Cantu family played a video from Sandra's life and her father, Daniel Cantu, told Huckaby through tears, "All I can say right now is, repent and think about what you've done."
Sandra's aunt Angie Chavez added, "No amount of explanation can make any sense of what she did or why she did it. The only solace we have as a family is to know that she will never do this again."
Amen to that! I only hope now that the Cantu case can grieve and find some bit of peace after this horrific tragedy and loss for their family. Rest in peace, dear Sandra.
Have you been following the Sandra Cantu murder case?
Image via mrbill/Flickr