Translate this page
Accused rapist and murderer, Gardner, matches description in other attempted kidnappings in Riverside and San Diego counties
Thursday, March 4th, 2010
Issue 09, Volume 14.
A black sedan frequently seen parked in front of John Albert Gardner III's mother's townhouse in Rancho Bernardo has since been towed away by police, according to the news station.
Gardner also bears a striking resemblance to a composite sketch of a suspect in an attempted abduction of a girl less than four miles from his residence in Lake Elsinore last October.
The Press-Enterprise in Riverside reported that the girl was walking to a friend's house when she was approached by a man driving a sedan. After a brief conversation, the man showed the girl a gun and demanded she get inside his car, but she refused and ran, according to the newspaper.
Local authorities say they also are investigating whether Gardner might be responsible for the February 2009 disappearance of Escondido High School freshman Amber Dubois, who was 14 when she vanished while walking to campus.
Gardner, 30, pleaded not guilty Wednesday to murdering 17-year-old Chelsea, who vanished last Thursday after she went for an after-school run at Rancho Bernardo Community Park.
In addition to murder, Gardner was charged with assault with the intent to commit rape for an attack on another woman in the same park last December, according to District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis.
The murder charge includes a sentence-enhancing allegation of murder during the commission of a rape or attempted rape.
The defendant could face the death penalty if convicted. A decision on what penalty Gardner will face will be determined after the preliminary hearing.
Gardner -- who is being held without bail in solitary confinement in a downtown jail cell -- was ordered back to court Tuesday, and a preliminary hearing was tentatively scheduled for March 18.
According to public records, Gardner was convicted of assaulting and molesting a girl in 2000. The victim, a 13-year old neighbor, said he repeatedly punched her in the face and fondled her at his mother's townhouse, which is about a mile from Rancho Bernardo Community Park.
The girl said she went to the residence after Gardner invited her in to watch a movie.
Gardner was sentenced to six years in prison and served five before he was released in September 2005. He was on probation until 2008.
He registered as a sex offender using his grandmother's Lake Elsinore address but reportedly had been staying with his mother lately.
Dr. Matthew Carroll, a psychiatrist who interviewed Gardner following the 2000 assault, described him as "callous" and lacking remorse, making him "an extremely poor candidate for any sexual offender treatment," according to court records.
"It is my opinion that (Gardner) would be a continued danger to underage girls in the community," Carroll wrote as he recommended the maximum sentence of 30 years in prison.
A memorandum from the District Attorney's Office said prosecutors asked for a six-year sentence to resolve the case without a trial and to spare the victim from testifying.
Click here to find sexual predators in your neighborhood http://www.meganslaw.ca.gov/homepage.aspx
The Fallbrook Village News has tightened its' policy regarding comments.
While we invite you to contribute your opinions and thoughts, we request that you refrain from using vulgar or obscene words and post only comments that directly pertain to the specific topic of the story or article.
Comments that are derogatory in nature have a high likelihood for editing or non-approval if they carry the possibility of being libelous.
The comment system is not intended as a forum for individuals or groups to air personal grievances against other individuals or groups.
Please, no advertising or trolling.
In posting a comment for consideration, users understand that their posts may be edited as necessary to meet system parameters, or the post may not be approved at all. By submitting a comment, you agree to all the rules and guidelines described here.
Most comments are approved or disregarded within one business day.
Valley NewsAnza Valley OutlookFallbrook.orgSourcebookPDF VersionCoupon CornerSign up for iNewsEarthquake Info
357 Medical marijuan...
265 Arrests now numb...
246 13-year-old Fall...
211 Vote ‘yes’ on Pr...
205 Arrests now tota...
170 UPDATE: Authorit...
168 Man hit, killed ...
166 Marine commits s...
153 13-year-old Fall...
149 Little Mexico in...
148 EXCLUSIVE UPDATE...
145 Increased Noise ...
137 Fallbrook reside...
133 Methamphetamine ...
125 Mother-in-law ar...