The Associated Press requested the parole records of John Albert Gardner III, who was charged with the murder of Chelsea King, 17, in San Diego County and with the attempted rape of another woman, after the judge presiding over the case imposed a gag order. Gardner had pleaded guilty in 2000 to committing lewd and lascivious acts on a 13-year-old girl, and was also accused of raping and killing a 14-year-old girl.
On March 5, 2010, the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation disclosed that the records requested by the Associated Press had been destroyed in 2009, one year after Gardner completed three years of parole supervision. That disclosure prompted Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher to call for an investigation to determine whether any records had been improperly destroyed.
Hours later, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger ordered corrections officials to retain parole records indefinitely – a seemingly impossible task in light of the fact that some 10,000 ex-prisoners enter or leave parole supervision each month.
Gardner pleaded guilty on April 16, 2010 to the rape and murder of Chelsea King and Amber Dubois, 14. He received two sentences of life without parole.
Sources: Associated Press, www.sdnn.com
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