Chelsea King's parents file papers for victim compensation

By City News Service

The parents of slain Poway teenager Chelsea King filed paperwork with the California Victims Compensation and Government Claims Board, which makes payments to crime victims, it was announced Friday.

The move comes as the Assembly prepares to take a final vote on the law to be named after their daughter, a procedure on Friday that is expected to be a formality.

The filing with the claims board was just ahead of a six-month deadline, and is meant to preserve the King family’s right to seek compensation, said Sara Muller Fraunces, a spokeswoman for Brent and Kelly King.

The Kings have not made a final decision on whether to seek compensation for the murder of their 17-year-old daughter, who disappeared Feb. 25 while jogging on a trail near Rancho Bernardo Community Park.

“We are just beginning to think through this issue and are factoring in a variety of opinions,” the Kings said in a statement. “If any compensation is received in the future, it will be used to further Chelsea’s dream of changing our world for the better.”

Registered sex offender John Albert Gardner III pleaded guilty to murdering King and, a year earlier, 14-year-old Amber Dubois, and was sentenced to two life terms in prison.

The Assembly is scheduled to take up Chelsea’s Law Friday morning, Fraunces said.

AB 1844 calls for mandatory life sentences for forcible violent sex crimes against children. It would also tighten sex offense parole guidelines and require lifelong tracking of certain sex offenders.

The bill previously passed the Assembly, and was approved on a 33-0 vote in the state Senate on Tuesday. It returns to the Assembly for consideration of the final text of the measure, and will then be sent to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has promised to sign it.