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Prison report on John Gardner released

Registered sex offender John Albert Gardner III repeatedly got into trouble in prison for smoking and ditching work but also excelled at teaching math and English to Spanish-speaking students, according to prison records released this week.

Gardner pleaded not guilty to raping and murdering 17-year-old Chelsea King of Poway Feb. 25, and not guilty to attacking another young female jogger in late December. Both attacks took place near Lake Hodges.

On Wednesday, the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation released 282 pages of Gardner’s prison and parole records after The San Diego Union-Tribune, other media and lawmakers requested the information.

The records show he was moved in and out of solitary confinement, had privileges taken away and restored, and was involved in at least one “mutual combat,” the Union-Tribune reported.

Gardner served five years in prison after pleading guilty to attacking a 13-year-old neighbor girl in Rancho Bernardo in 2000. He was paroled in September 2005.

The 30-year-old Gardner could face the death penalty if convicted in Chelsea’s death. A preliminary hearing is set for Aug. 4.

Escondido police said Gardner is a focal point into their investigation into the death of Escondido teen Amber Dubois. Amber was 14 when she went missing while walking to Escondido High School in February 2009. Her remains were discovered in the Pala area earlier this month.