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Woman describes attack at same lake where Chelsea King was killed

A woman broke her silence to describe being attacked at the same San Diego County lake where Chelsea King was slain, allegedly by a registered sex offender.

Authorities suspect Candice Moncayo was attacked by John Gardner, who has pleaded not guilty to killing King in February.

In an interview on CNN, Moncayo said she was attacked while jogging around the lake. She said she was able to fight him off and run to a nearby home, where she called authorities.

"He grabbed his face and turned away from me and yelled some things, and I got up and ran faster than I think I ever ran in my life," she said.

Moncayo said she will testify in Gardner's upcoming murder trial.

Gardner, 30, was charged earlier this month and faces the death penalty if convicted of murder. Authorities said DNA from semen found on Chelsea's clothing linked him to the crime.

Gardner, 6-feet-2 and weighing 230 pounds, pleaded guilty in 2000 to molesting a 13-year-old girl.

A psychiatrist at the time recommended that Gardner be given the maximum sentence of at least 10 years in prison. "It is my opinion that [the defendant] would be a continued danger to underage [girls] in the community," said the psychiatrist in the court documents. San Diego County prosecutors recommended a six-year term.

According to the Megan's Law website, Gardner lived in Lake Elsinore, in Riverside County, but was visiting his mother in San Diego County when the attack occurred.

--Shelby Grad

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Comments () | Archives (12)

As horrendous as this was, and it was, the man was clearly mentally ill and needs to be in permanent psychiatric treatment. It should not be labeled an "evil" attack" the man is very, very ill.

The way America applies capital punishment, is absolutely not deterrent to criminal actions. I dare to suggest that it actually does a faver to those who are of a complete derranged mind. Overall, Capital Punishment, makes America look like countries in the Arab world. In the western culture, is America not the only country that holds on to these absolute despotic punishment?

WHEN was she attacked? Did she call the police? Did they go out looking for him? Did the composite -- if they did one -- look enough like him that he could actually have been recognized and caught before Chelsea was killed? This story is just a teaser. More details, please.

Meanwhile, individuals who possess a few pictures of underage girls but have never posed a threat to actually have sex with underage girls get 20 years in federal prison. don't you love "tough on crime" sex laws, they make so much sense, right?

The ACLU has been and will be protecting these pervs. Remember that when you champion them.

No Lorie, it SHOULD be labeled an EVIL attack! He doesn't need to be in permanent psychiatric treatment (presumably such treatment could mean taking his meds while free to roam)-- He needs to be permenently removed from society! He raped and murdered CHILDREN! If you don't think THAT is evil, what is YOUR definition????

"As horrendous as this was, and it was, the man was clearly mentally ill and needs to be in permanent psychiatric treatment. It should not be labeled an "evil" attack" the man is very, very ill."

here written above is the banal form of evil

"Meanwhile, individuals who possess a few pictures of underage girls but have never posed a threat to actually have sex with underage girls get 20 years in federal prison."

wow - keep this guy away from your kids!


"The way America applies capital punishment, is absolutely not deterrent to criminal actions. I dare to suggest that it actually does a faver to those who are of a complete derranged mind. Overall, Capital Punishment, makes America look like countries in the Arab world. In the western culture, is America not the only country that holds on to these absolute despotic punishment?"

I heard this once and so now I repeat it, thinking myself wise and insightful

We need protection from the legal system that does not or will not protect law abiding citizens and seems hellbent on keeping them from protecting themselves.

I agree with Patty, and I'd like to add that if he is so mentally ill that he cannot help but rape and murder people (including children), we should do the same thing to him that we do to rabid animals (even though they, too, are "ill" and "can't help it"): give him a lethal injection.

I'm with Julie. We need to know a lot more here. I'm also for giving violent sexual offenders the option of life imprisonment or physical castration plus lifetime parole and bracelet monitoring.No more playing around. Beautiful lives are being unnecesarily ended by these people (ill/evil, what difference does it make?).


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L.A. Now is the Los Angeles Times’ breaking news section for Southern California. It is produced by more than 80 reporters and editors in The Times’ Metro section, reporting from the paper’s downtown Los Angeles headquarters as well as bureaus in Costa Mesa, Long Beach, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, Riverside, Ventura and West Los Angeles.
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