Melissa Chantel Huckaby pleaed guilty this morning of kidnapping and killing Sandra Cantu in 2009, apparently bringing to a close one of the most sordid tales in Tracy history.
That makes two of five Tracy homicides that have ended with some sort of justice.
I say "some sort of justice" because it hardly seems that life in prison without parole is a fair trade for taking the life of a sweet 8-year-old with the world in front of her. There's no punishment appropriate for what Huckaby did that can be meted out in this world.
However, it will hopefully bring some closure for a community that found itself the center of a national media storm more than a year ago for all the wrong reasons. It also offers hope that our justice system (and even the media) truly does work.
Of course, it won't cure our homicide hangover for 2009.
Still without a conclusion are the homicides of Clayton "Cotton" Riggins (found bludgeoned to death in his home), Naim Bey (fatally shot at Amore's Italian Restaurant) and Spencer Sampson (gunned down on East Street near Tracy High School). And then there's the alleged torture case of a then-16-year-old boy who escaped in the final month of 2008.
But 2010 is a long way from over, and all but the Riggins case are in court. So Second Thoughts holds out hope that these cases will all be closed before the calendar flips.