Gardner and the Dept. of Corrections

By Steven Luke
|  Thursday, Mar 11, 2010  |  Updated 8:32 AM PDT
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Gardner and the Dept. of Corrections

Did John Gardner, who is accused of killing Chelsea King and is the focus of the investigation in the Amber Dubois case -- abide by the conditions of his parole?

Chelsea King Suspect Appears in Court

John Albert Gardner III made a brief but important court appearance Tuesday in connection with the murder and possible rape of Chelsea King.
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Did John Gardner, who is accused of killing Chelsea King and is the focus of the investigation in the Amber Dubois case -- abide by the conditions of his parole? 

The answer to that question is held inside the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation's central file, which unlike the field files, which were destroyed, remains intact. The department's files have historically not been public information, according to a department representative, but, given the extreme interest in the case, officials said are working on making the accessible in this case.

Gardner was sentenced in 2000 to six years in prison for sexually assaulting a 13-year-old when he was 20. After his release, Gardner spent exactly three years on parole, from Sept. 26, 2005, to Sept. 26, 2008. During that time, parole officers would periodically check in on him during the day.
   
The Chelsea King murder suspect spent time at three California prisons during his six-year sentence, including Donovan State Prison. A few months later, he was transferred to Tehachapi State prison and then was sent to Avenal State Prison in 2004.

State Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher says tht information in department's central file needs to be released.

"We have to begin the process of moving forward," Fletcher said Wednesday. "Nothing we can do to bring girls back -- gut-wrenching agonizing tragedy -- but we have an obligation to ask tough questions to find out where the system failed and to put in place reforms to make it work better."

Fletcher said his office has requested the immediate release of Gardner's central file but has still not heard back from the state department of corrections.

A preliminary hearing for Gardner in the Chelsea King case has been scheduled for August.

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