Southern California rape suspect lived by school for 16 months

SACRAMENTO — State corrections department records show a convicted sex offender charged with murdering a California teenager lived near a preschool for at least 16 months before parole officials forced him to move.

A top corrections official tells The Associated Press that a regional administrator let John Gardner continue living within 126 yards of the San Diego County preschool until his lease expired in 2006. But no one noticed he was still living there until a year later.

Assistant Secretary Oscar Hidalgo said Wednesday there was confusion in part because of a change in parole agents.

Gardner pleaded not guilty earlier this month to murdering 17-year-old Chelsea King. He also is under investigation in the murder of 14-year-old Amber Dubois in Escondido in early 2009.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.

blog comments powered by Disqus