Governor coming to San Diego to sign Chelsea's Law

By City News Service

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger will be in Balboa Park on Thursday to sign legislation named for slain Poway High School senior Chelsea King.

At the bill signing ceremony, Schwarzenegger will be joined at Spreckels Organ Pavilion by Chelsea's parents, Brent and Kelly King, and the bill's author, Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher, R-San Diego.

Assembly Bill 1844, also known as Chelsea's Law, requires a life sentence without the possibility of parole for forcible sex acts against minors. It would also tighten sex offense parole guidelines and require lifelong tracking of certain sex offenders.

The legislation was approved unanimously by the state Senate and Assembly.

Chelsea was raped and killed Feb. 25 by registered sex offender John Albert Gardner III, who grabbed her while she was jogging at a Rancho Bernardo park. Searchers found the 17-year-old's body a few days later in a shallow grave on the shore of Lake Hodges.

Gardner, 31, was sentenced in May to two life terms without parole for murdering and sexually assaulting Chelsea and for abducting, raping and fatally stabbing 14-year-old Amber Dubois of Escondido a year earlier.

A package of bills promoted by Amber's father that are intended to improve law enforcement handling of missing person cases also await the governor's signature.

   
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