Report: Gardner violated parole seven times
Registered sex offender John Albert Gardner III, who is accused of raping and murdering Poway teen Chelsea King, racked up seven violations during the three years that he served on parole for attacking a 13-year-old girl in 2000, it was reported Friday.
The assistant secretary of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation said Thursday that Gardner’s trouble with parole agents never warranted his being sent back to prison, but that official’s boss later issued a statement saying the case was being reviewed, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported.
Gardner’s most serious violation while on parole was in September 2007, when he lived in an apartment adjacent to Miramar College and its day-care center, according to the newspaper. The residence was also within 500 yards of Scripps Ranch High School and Hourglass Field Community Park.
Gardner had a low battery in his GPS tracking device on four occasions, he missed a parole meeting one time and he once faced an allegation of possession of marijuana, the Union-Tribune reported.
Gardner, who is now 30, served five years of a six-year prison sentence for attacking a 13-year-old neighbor girl in his mother’s Rancho Bernardo townhouse in 2000.
The District Attorney’s Office made a plea deal with Gardner to spare the victim from testifying at trial despite a psychiatrist’s report that Gardner showed no remorse and should get the maximum sentence of 30 years in prison.
“He is simply a bad guy who is inordinately interested in young girls. ... He manifests significant predatory traits and is a danger to the community,” Dr. Matthew Carroll wrote in his report.
Gardner was registered as a sex offender in Lake Elsinore but was staying with his mother in her townhouse when he was arrested in Chelsea’s death Feb. 28. The townhouse is about a mile from Rancho Bernardo Community Park, where Chelsea’s car was found Feb. 25.
Chelsea, a runner and musician at Poway High, parked her car there before going for an after-school training run alongside Lake Hodges. Her disappearance spurred a massive search effort by thousands of volunteers and several law enforcement agencies. Law enforcement found her body March 2 on the water’s edge.
In addition to Chelsea’s death, Gardner is charged with attacking a young female jogger in the same area in late December. In that case, the jogger elbowed her attacker and ran away.
Gardner is also a focal point of the investigation into the February 2009 slaying of Amber Dubois, according to Escondido police. The Escondido teen was 14 when she disappeared while walking to school. Her body was found earlier this month.
Escondido police said someone compelled by Chelsea’s death came forward with a tip that led to the discovery of Amber’s body in the Pala area.
Gardner could face the death penalty if convicted of Chelsea’s death. A preliminary hearing is set for Aug. 4.