SAN DIEGO - California's practice of shredding the parole files of sex offenders one year after parole is served is now on hold because of the slaying of Poway teen Chelsea King.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger Tuesday ordered an immediate halt in the implementation of the state's current parole record policy.
The order followed a report by The San Diego Union-Tribune that the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation had destroyed all of the field files related to the supervision of John Albert Gardner III.
Gardner -- a registered sex offender who attacked a 13-year-old girl in 2000 -- is charged with raping and murdering 17-year-old Chelsea late last month.
''The current practice of not keeping information on sex offenders in California is unacceptable,'' Schwarzenegger said in a statement. ''It is in the best interest of public safety to retain all information on these individuals and to make as much information as possible available and transparent.''
Gardner, 30, served five years of a six-year sentenced for attacking a neighbor girl while living with his mother in 2000. He was not under supervision when he allegedly attacked Chelsea Feb. 25 as she was jogging near Lake Hodges.
In addition to murder and rape charges related to Chelsea's death, Gardner is charged with attacking a young jogger in the same area in late December. In that case, the young woman elbowed her attacker and ran away.
Local authorities have said Gardner is also the focus of the investigation into the slaying of Amber Dubois of Escondido. Amber was 14 when she disappeared just over a year ago while walking to school. Her body was found Saturday in the Pala area.
Authorities in Riverside County have said they are looking into whether Gardner was connected to an attempted abduction of a young girl in Lake Elsinore last October. At the time, Gardner lived in the area.
He was staying in Escondido when Amber disappeared and in Rancho Bernardo when Chelsea went missing.
Gardner could face the death penalty if convicted in Chelsea's death. A preliminary hearing is set for Aug. 4.
SAN DIEGO - Chelsea King's accused killer appeared to be attracted to young girls and manifested predatory traits that made him a danger to the community, a psychologist said in a 2000 probation report released today.
John Albert Gardner III, who is charged with the rape and murder of the 17-year-old Poway High School senior, pleaded guilty 10 years ago to sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl.
The attack occurred in his mother's townhouse, which is located about a mile from Rancho Bernardo Community Park, where Chelsea disappeared Feb. 25 while jogging.
A probation report prepared a decado ago for Gardner's sentencing in the decade-old case was released today, after Judge David Danielsen granted a request by the San Diego Union-Tribune and KGTV that it be unsealed and made
available for public viewing.
Dr. Matthew Carroll, who interviewed the defendant for the 2000 report, said Gardner ''completely denied'' any attraction to young females. But after reviewing the original probation report and the District Attorney's file, the
psychologist concluded that Gardner was attracted to girls ''significantly younger than he.''
Based upon the fact that Gardner beat his 13-year-old neighbor, Carroll concluded the defendant would be a continued danger to underage girls in the community, according to the probation report.
Carroll said the defendant's ''complete denial'' of any culpability in the case, including having ever sexually touched any underage females, made it unlikely that he would be amenable to treatment. Carroll said there was no
known treatment for a person who sexually assaults girls and does not admit to it.
''The defendant does not suffer from a psychotic disorder,'' the psychologist wrote. ''He is simply a bad guy who is inordinately interested in young girls. However, his predilection toward younger girls is a problem. He manifests significant predatory traits and is a danger to the community.''
Gardner told a probation officer that his parents divorced when he was about 5 years old. He said he suffered form Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and was treated with Ritalin and other drugs.
The defendant said his father spanked him with a belt, and he felt the older man went over the line to abusiveness, according to the report.
Gardner said he worked as a lifeguard at a San Bernardino Mountain resort, then as a ride operator at Santa's Village amusement park near Lake Arrowhead until it closed down.
The defendant told the probation officer he wanted to be a math teacher, but that was out of the question after his convictions. He denied ever receiving treatment for drug or alcohol abuse.
Gardner was sentenced to six years in prison and released in 2005. He was on probation until 2008 and registered as a sex offender using his grandmother's Lake Elsinore address, but he had reportedly been staying with
his mother lately.
Gardner, 30, could face the death penalty if convicted of Chelsea's murder. A preliminary hearing is set for Aug. 4.
Judge rules probation report for 2000 sentencing of Gardner should be made public
SAN DIEGO - A probation report prepared for the 2000 sentencing of a man who molested a 13-year-old girl -- and now stands accused of murdering Poway teen Chelsea King -- should be unsealed and made available to the public, a judge ruled today. But Judge David Danielsen stayed his order until Wednesday morning to give the attorneys for John Albert Gardner III time to decide if they want to appeal the decision to the 4th District Court of Appeal.
Danielsen, ruling on a motion by the San Diego Union-Tribune, said he had to weigh the public's right to access court records versus the ''very significant'' right of the defendant to get a fair trial.
The judge said most, if not all, of the facts contained in the 2000 probation report have been disclosed already.
The report would normally be sealed, but if a person is charged with a subsequent crime, the law allows for it to be unsealed, the judge said.
In the 2000 case, the 13-year-old victim said Gardner repeatedly punched her in the face and fondled her at his mother's townhouse, which is about a mile from Rancho Bernardo Community Park, where Chelsea disappeared Feb. 25.
The 17-year-old teen's body was discovered in a shallow grave next to Lake Hodges last Tuesday.
In the 2000 case, Gardner pleaded guilty, was sentenced to six years in prison and was released in 2005. He was on probation until 2008 and registered as a sex offender using his grandmother's Lake Elsinore address but reportedly
had been staying with his mother lately.
In addition to Chelsea's murder, Gardner is charged with assault with the intent to commit rape for an attack on another woman in the same park last December, prosecutors said.
Investigators have questioned whether Gardner is linked to the death of 14-year-old Amber Dubois, who had been missing for a year before her remains were discovered over the weekend in Pala. Gardner has not been charged in
connection with that girl's disappearance.
Defense attorney Mel Epley said his client had been mentioned by authorities with involvement in the Dubois investigation and urged Danielsen to order law enforcement personnel, prosecutors, defense attorneys and court
officials not to make any comment on the pending case.
The judge said it wouldn't be appropriate for officials to comment. A hearing is scheduled tomorrow in Danielsen's courtroom on the charges Gardner is currently facing.