Southern California -- this just in

« Previous Post | L.A. NOW Home | Next Post »

Woman describes attack at same lake where Chelsea King was killed

March 17, 2010 |  7:48 am

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

More breaking news at L.A. Now:

Los Angeles heat wave to continue as records fall, but cooling trend coming

St. Patrick's Day parade scrapped in L.A., but the party goes on

Passenger wanders off, causing brief security scare at LAX

Angels Flight closed part of Tuesday night for routine maintenance

Fatal collision snarls traffic on 5 Freeway in East Los Angeles

Victim in Woodland Hills home-invasion robbery arrested for growing pot

Human remains found near Feather River in Northern California

Malibu library to close for $5.7-million 'green' makeover