John Albert Gardner III appears in San Diego Superior Court on Tuesday March 9, 2010 in San Diego. A San Diego judge has postponed the preliminary hearing for the sex offender accused of murdering 17-year-old Chelsea King. Superior Court Judge David J. Danielsen on Tuesday rescheduled the hearing from March 18 to Aug. 4. Gardner 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. (AP Photo/John Gibbins, Pool)
A status hearing is scheduled for John Gardner Friday afternoon, but it’s not clear if the subject of the hearing is tied to recently uncovered documents that explain what detectives found at his home.
Search warrant documents posted online show investigators removed a number of items from John Gardner’s home on March 9, 2010 including shovels, pick axes, digging tools and articles of clothing -- just two days after police found the body of missing teen Amber Dubois.
Friday's status conference was scheduled for 2 p.m. A gag order has been issued in the case.
Gardner, a convicted sex offender accused in the death of Poway teenager Chelsea King and a focus in the investigation into the death of Escondido teenager Amber Dubois, was taken into custody on Feb. 28.
DNA on a piece of King’s clothing found near her body along the southern shore of the Lake Hodges on March 2 led to Gardner’s arrest, according to law enforcement sources.
The legal documents were posted online Tuesday night by Los Angeles radio station KFI640AM. The site got access to “tons of documents” according to a station employee and worked over the last week to sort through them and post them to the station’s Web site.
Among them are an affidavit where investigators listed specific items they were looking for in a search of Garner’s Lake Elsinore home including rope, tape, handcuffs and other restraining devices, human hair, tissues or fluids, jeans, sneakers, and several shirts including a black T-shirt with writing that said “Hard Rock Café Baghdad on the front with ‘Farsy’ script underneath the print.”
A receipt lists the items taken from the home. They include a pick ax and a shovel taken from the front of the house by the front door. From the shed in the backyard, officials took 10 shovels, two pick axes and a yellow plastic carrier with digging tools. They also seized a pair of Reebok shoes size 12, five pairs of jeans and a white T-shirt with “Hard Iraq Café Baghdad” size 2XL from Gardner’s bedroom.
At his arraignment on March 3, Gardner's attorney Michael Popkins, entered not guilty pleas for Gardner, saying that his client denied all the allegations.
Gardner's preliminary hearing is scheduled for August 2010.