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Records: S.D. murder suspect violated parole

March 11, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
Records show that the suspect in San Diego teen Chelsea King's murder may have violated parole, yet he remained free.Convicted sex offender John Albert Gardner could have been sent back to prison in 2007 for violating his parole, but officials didn't do that.

Records obtained by the Associated Press show parole officials found Gardner was illegally living within a half-mile of a school back in September 2007. The records also show five later violations with the last one being in September 2008 just 18 days before Gardner was let go from parole supervision.

Had he been returned to prison at that time, he could have been evaluated for commitment to a state mental hospital as a sexually violent predator. He also would have qualified for a lifetime of electronic tracking.

All of this stems from Gardner pleading guilty back in 2000 to molesting a 13-year-old girl.

Now Gardner is charged with killing 17-year-old King, who disappeared on Feb. 25 after going for a jog at Rancho Bernardo Community Park. Searchers found her body five days later in a shallow grave near Lake Hodges. Gardner pleaded not guilty to murdering King.

Even before this latest revelation King;s father wanted stricter laws for sex offenders.

"I don't want people that ever have any kind of one strike on them to have more than one strike on them. They shouldn't be allowed to have a second strike," said Brent King, Chelsea's father.

Officials are also looking to see if Gardner could be linked to the death of another teen, Amber Dubois, whose body was found last week.

The California Department of Corrections is taking issue with the Associated Press records regarding Gardner's parole history. They say that Gardner was living near a college, which had a daycare facility. When he was asked to move, he complied and that's why he was allowed to stay on parole.


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