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Convicted child molester to be sentenced in rape, murder of Amber Dubois and Chelsea King

John Albert Gardner III is scheduled to be sentenced Friday in San Diego for raping and murdering two girls under a plea agreement that spared him the death penalty but denies him the possibility of parole.

Gardner pleaded guilty last month to killing 14-year-old Amber Dubois and 17-year-old Chelsea King. His arrest spark a wide-ranging review of how California deals with sex predators.

He was arrested Feb. 28, three days after he attacked Chelsea on an afternoon run in San Diego, strangled her, and buried her in a shallow, lakeside grave.

Gardner served five years of a six-year prison sentence for beating and molesting a 13-year-old girl in San Diego in 2000. He faced a maximum of nearly 11 years in prison, but prosecutors called for six years.

A court-appointed psychiatrist urged the maximum sentence allowed by law. He said in court documents that Gardner was a "continued danger to underage girls" and "an extremely poor candidate" for treatment.

Maurice Dubois, Amber's father, says in a statement to be read Friday that psychiatrist Dr. Matthew Carroll "was the only one who saw Gardner for what he is, a dangerous predator interested in young girls."

Gardner lived near a San Diego preschool for at least 16 months while on parole from 2005 to 2008. That violated a condition of parole that prohibited him from living within a half-mile of a school.

Amber's mother, Carrie McGonigle, met with Gardner in jail this week. None of the details of the conversation were released, but McGonigle said he answered all her questions. McGonigle had said she wanted to know why he chose Amber and how he abducted her.

McGonigle is expected to make a statement in court Friday before Gardner is sentenced. Gardner is expected to get life in prison without the possibility of parole.

-- Tony Perry in San Diego

Photo: L.A. Times file

Comments () | Archives (4)

Is Gardner wearing nail polish???

I believe that both state and federal law on underage sex crimes need to be revised for situations in which a credible doctor classifies them as a continuing danger. If a pedophile cannot be rehabilitated, he or she should be locked away before needless lives are damaged and/or ended. Pedophilia is something that is not comfortable to talk about, but it affects too many people to not bring the reality of the condition as one that is largely untreatable to the forefront of our legal system. Yes, freedom is an unalienable right at a U.S. citizen, but it should be revoked if a person harms a child repeatedly in a sexual manner. My hearts go out the victims and their families in this case.

Nothing can be done to save the two (or more) that he has already taken. Hopefully this sentence will prevent him from getting any more victims. Fifty years from now, hopefully the public will remember this monster when someone speaks up for him to have him released, he's a changed man. No way. Please, throw away the key.

A man's freedom ends where another man's rights begin, or for this matter another child's rights begin. It is sad that this man had done what he has done and end up both children dead. Let us protect our children from predators and help others from becoming one.


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