In another case that will focus attention on the monitoring of sex offenders, a California sex offender has been arrested in an apparent San Diego-area murder. San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore said it was a “strong likelihood” that a body found yesterday was Chelsea King, 17, who had been missing since Thursday when she went for a jog in a park, reports the San Diego Union-Tribune. John Albert Gardner III, 30, a registered sex offender, was arrested Sunday on suspicion of rape and murder.
Gardner has been connected to a Dec. 27 attack on a female jogger in the same park. In 2000, Gardner was convicted of a forcible lewd act on a child and false imprisonment after he took a 13-year-old neighbor girl to his mother's home. The girl accused him of repeatedly punching her in the face and touching her private parts. A psychiatrist who interviewed him said he would be a “continued danger to underage girls” because of the lack of remorse for his actions. Prosecutors initially charged Gardner with more-violent sex crimes that could have resulted in a sentence of more than 30 years because the terms would have been served consecutively. He was sentenced to six years in prison as part of a plea agreement and served five years before he was released in 2005. He completed probation in 2008.