Convicted California sex offender John Gardner III lived for just under two years in an apartment complex, 700 yards from an elementary school, says the San Diego Union-Tribune. That's seven months longer than previously known – a timeline now acknowledged by state parole officials, though not apparent from incomplete records previously released. Gardner's conditions of parole barred him from living within 880 yards of such a school.
A review by the Union-Tribune shows the violation was apparently unrecognized for seven months, excused for three more, then ignored or forgotten for 13 more – until a new parole agent took over Gardner's supervision. Gardner served five years in prison for beating and molesting a 13-year-old girl in 2000, and was on parole from 2005 to 2008. The handling of his parole has drawn criticism since he was accused last month of raping and killing Chelsea King, 17. While on parole, Gardner committed seven violations that could have been used to send him back to prison and subjected him to tougher post-release monitoring under Jessica's Law, which passed in 2006. The most serious was the residency issue. Said parole official Margarita Perez: “It's important to understand he was approximately 2,100 feet away. It's not like he was across the street.”