Former Sunday-school teacher Melissa Huckaby, who killed 8-year-old Sandra Cantu and stuffed her into a suitcase, avoided the death penalty with a surprise plea bargain and instead faces life in prison. In early May, Huckaby, whose daughter was one of Cantu's playmates, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder, and prosecutors dropped charges of rape and lewd or lascivious conduct with a child, counts that would have warranted the death penalty. Huckaby formally apologized to Cantu's family citing her brutal acts as inexplicable: "I loved Sandra. I wish I could give you an explanation... I can't understand why I did what I did." Her apology came with the understanding that it may be inconsequential: "It is not enough that I say that I am sorry," she said. "But that is all that I can do."
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