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Gardner Sentencing Moved Up To May 14

The sentencing hearing for the admitted killer of teenagers Chelsea King and Amber Dubois was moved up two weeks to May 14, a spokesman for the District Attorney's Office announced today.

John Albert Gardner III, 31, was supposed to be sentenced June 1. His plea agreement calls for a sentence of two consecutive life terms in prison without the possibility of parole, plus an additional 33 years to life for assaulting a woman last Dec. 27.

Paul Levikow of the District Attorney's Office said both sides agreed to move up the sentencing date.

Gardner, a convicted sex offender, pleaded guilty April 16 to murdering and raping both teens.

Chelsea, a 17-year-old, straight-A senior at Poway High School, disappeared Feb. 25 after going for a run at Rancho Bernardo Community Park. Her body was discovered five days later in a shallow grave near a tributary of nearby Lake Hodges -- not far from Gardner's mother's home.

Amber, 14, vanished while walking to Escondido High School in February 2009. Her skeletal remains were found last month in Pala.

On March 5, three days after Gardner was arraigned on a murder charge in the older girl's slaying, he led authorities to the younger teen's body, according to District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis.

Prosecutors -- with no other evidence to tie him to Amber's murder -- agreed not to use the fact that Gardner led authorities to her body against him when he offered to plead guilty to murdering both girls. In so doing, he avoided the death penalty.

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