John Gardner faces sentencing today
A registered sex offender who admitted raping and murdering 17-year-old Chelsea King and 14-year-old Amber Dubois is scheduled to be sentenced Friday to a pair of life terms without parole, plus 33 years to life for assaulting a woman in December.
John Albert Gardner III pleaded guilty in April to attacking King while she was jogging behind Rancho Bernardo Community Park and taking her to a remote area, where he raped her, strangled her and buried her in a shallow grave.
He also admitted killing Dubois, who vanished while walking to Escondido High School in February 2009.
Three days after Gardner, 31, was arraigned on charges he murdered King, he led authorities to Dubois’ body in Pala.
The only promise made to the defendant, said District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis, was that the information could not be used against him in court.
Gardner later offered to plead guilty to both murders and assaulting a woman in the same Rancho Bernardo Park in December to avoid the death penalty.
The sentences to be handed out by Judge David Danielsen will ensure that Gardner dies in prison, Dumanis said.
Members of Chelsea King’s family, including her parents, Brent and Kelly King, are expected to make a statement at the sentencing.
Moe Dubois, Amber’s father, said in a statement already in the court file that the legal system failed to keep tabs on Gardner after a 2000 conviction and six-year prison sentence for sexually assaulting a 13-year-old neighbor girl.