Trial in killing of Calif. girl set for Oct. 2010

AP News
Posted: Dec 04, 2009 7:34 PM

A trial date has been set for a Northern California woman charged with killing an 8-year-old girl whose body was found stuffed in a suitcase.

San Joaquin County Judge Linda Lofthus on Friday said Melissa Huckaby's murder trial would begin Oct. 18, 2010.

The 28-year-old former Sunday school teacher has pleaded not guilty to kidnapping, raping and murdering Sandra Cantu of Tracy, as well as drugging two other people.

San Joaquin County prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for Huckaby, who was indicted in July following her arrest in April.

Prosecutors argued for a speedy trial because they say younger witnesses who may testify could have a difficult time recalling specifics in the case.