Lawyers for Calif. woman accused of girl’s murder, rape drop request to exhume body

Request to exhume dead Calif. girl’s body dropped

STOCKTON, Calif. — Lawyers for a California woman accused of raping and killing an 8-year-old girl have dropped a request to exhume the body for a second autopsy.

Public Defender Peter Fox told the San Francisco Chronicle on Tuesday that the exhumation was unnecessary because the medical examiner had preserved tissue samples that could be tested by Melissa Huckaby’s defense team.

The 28-year-old woman’s lawyers had argued they would have no way to fight the rape allegation if their own pathologist couldn’t evaluate Sandra Cantu’s body, which had been found in a suitcase.

A San Joaquin County Superior Court judge issued a gag order later Tuesday, which prohibits those involved and authorities from publicly discussing the case.


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