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D.A. urges no parole for CHP officer who killed SDSU student

January 11, 2012 |  6:27 am

San Diego County Dist. Atty. Bonnie Dumanis will attend a parole hearing Wednesday to urge the board not to release a former California Highway Patrol officer who murdered a San Diego State student in 1986.

Craig Peyer is serving a 25-year to life prison term for killing Cara Knott, 20, after a traffic stop in northern San Diego County. Knott was traveling home to El Cajon after visiting a boyfriend two days after Christmas.

After strangling Knott, Peyer hurled her body off a bridge to the ground 100 feet below, according to evidence presented in court. Evidence suggested Peyer had a habit of stopping young women and making suggestive remarks.

"Craig Peyer used his position as a law enforcement officer to commit a heinous crime with callous disregard for his young victim," Dumanis said. "He continues to pose a very real danger to the public."

The parole board hearing is being held at the state prison in San Luis Obispo, where Peyer, 61, is an inmate. Peyer was denied parole in 2004 and 2008. Also set to attend the hearing are the victim's mother, two sisters and brother and the San Diego police detective on the case.

Peyer's first trial deadlocked seven to five for conviction. At his second trial, he was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced in 1988.

If he is denied parole, he would be eligible for parole again in three to 15 years, depending on the board's decision.


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-- Tony Perry in San Diego

Photo: An undated handout image of Cara Knott and a May 1987 file photo of former CHP officer Craig Peyer during his trial. Credit: Los Angeles Times and Associated Press