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Sunday school teacher gets life for murder

ABC7 Eyewitness News HD covering Los Angeles and Southern California.

June 14, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
A Northern California Sunday school teacher who pleaded guilty to kidnapping and murdering a neighbor girl is headed to prison for the rest of her life.Melissa Huckaby, 29, was sentenced by a judge Monday to life without parole as part of a plea deal that took the death penalty off the table.

Last month, Huckaby entered her surprise plea to first-degree murder with the special circumstance of kidnapping in the death of Sandra Cantu of Tracy, whose body was found in a suitcase pulled from an irrigation pond.

Other charges, including allegations that she sexually abused the 8-year-old girl, were dropped.

Officials have not released a possible motive for Huckaby.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.