Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Calif. Judge Upholds Gag Order in Child Murder Case Despite Guilty Plea

Sandra Cantu: Missing ChildImage by TedsBlog via Flickr
The Associated Press reports that the gag order on the release of information imposed by San Joaquin (Calif.) County Judge Linda Lofthus regarding the murder of eight-year-old Sandra Cantu remains in effect, even though the accused, 29-year-old Melissa Huckaby, has pleaded guilty to the March 2009, killing.

Judge Lofthus has indicated a willingness to revisit her prior restraint order after Huckaby is sentenced on June 14, but justifies the gag order as necessary to preserve the plea arrangement entered into by the defendant, which she believes unsealing court records could jeopardize.  The victim's family supports the suppression of details concerning the heinous crime.

The (Stockton, Calif.) Record, Associated Press, and the Bay Area News Group unsuccessfully challenged Judge Lofthus' gag order in a motion on May 12.

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