Judge Releases Report on Chelsea King's Accused Killer

John Albert Gardner III, now also a focus of the Amber Dubois case, was in court Tuesday

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Gardner was arrested Feb. 28 at Hernandez Hideaway in Escondido and initially booked on murder and rape charges.

    Court documents released to the public on Tuesday are offering a look into John Gardner's molesting conviction in 2000.

    The probation report from 2000 was released Tuesday after legal wrangling ended on the issue, which was raised Monday in court. Gardner was convicted in 2000 of molesting and beating a 13-year-old neighbor girl after luring her to his house. He served five years of a six-year sentence, though his plea agreement allowed for nearly 11 years and a court-appointed psychiatrist urged "the maximum sentence allowed by law."

    Chelsea King Suspect Appears in Court

    [DGO] 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. (Published Tuesday, Mar 9, 2010)


    Read Gardner's Probation Report, Which Was Unsealed Tuesday


    The decade-old probation report on the sex offender accused of murdering Southern California teenager Chelsea King states that a psychiatrist concluded that Gardner had "signicant predatory traits to underage females" and concluded that "the defendant would be a continued danger to underage girls in the community." The probation officer stated that during a discussion with the pschiatrist, the doctor stated that "the defendant 'is just a bad, bad kid' " and that the psychiatrist "found pervasive oddness in this case."

    The psychiatrist also said Gardner showed no remorse for the crime and denied any responsibility for it as well, making him an "extremely poor candidate for any sexual offender treatment." In the end, the doctor called for the maximum possible sentence.
       
    The probation officer, however, in the case recommended a so-called middle term of six years.

    "The weight of the possible circumstances in aggravation with particular regard to the violent beating inflicted upon the victim is heavy," the officer wrote. "However, the defendant's lack of a significant criminal history is a substantial mitigant. Therefore, the presumptive middle term will be recommended."

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    The parents of Escondido teenager Amber Dubois say they will never heal completely but believe changes in the legal system will help them deal with their loss. (Published Monday, Mar 8, 2010)

    The judge ordered six years and Gardner ended up serving five, eventually completing his parole in September 2008.

    On Monday, Judge David Danielson ordered the records unsealed, with the caveat that they would be redacted to remove some personal information about Gardner -- including his driver's license and phone numbers -- and any personal, identifying information about the victim in the case.

    On Monday, one of Gardner's public defenders, Mel Epley, requested a stay or the release pending an appeal, which Danielson granted until Tuesday at 9 a.m., when he could review a written request. When none was forthcoming, the records were released.

    Last week, Gardner pleaded not guilty to King's slaying in February as well as a December assault. He is is also under investigation in the death of 14-year-old Amber Dubois, whose remains were found Saturday, 10 miles from the site where King disappeared.

    On Tuesday, Superior Court Judge David J. Danielsen rescheduled Gardner's preliminary hearing from March 18 to Aug. 4.