Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Today marks the 25th anniversary of the murder of a San Diego State student by an on-duty California Highway Patrol officer who will face a parole board at a state prison in a few weeks.
On the night of Dec. 27, 1986, 20-year-old Cara Knott was driving home to El Cajon after visiting her boyfriend in Escondido when she was pulled over by then-CHP Officer Craig Peyer. Her beaten and strangled body was found the next morning at the base of a bridge off Interstate 15, just north of Mercy Road.
Blood, fiber and timeline evidence led authorities to suspect Peyer, a then-36-year-old patrolman and 13-year veteran officer. Peyer was convicted in a second trial and sentenced to 25 years to life in state prison. His first trial ended in a hung jury.
In a few weeks, Peyer will face a parole board at a state prison in San Luis Obispo, asking to be released, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported. He has been denied parole twice before.
A large contingent of the Knott family will be at the hearing.
"It's just so difficult to go up and go through it all over again,'' Cara's mother, Joyce Knott, told the newspaper. "We have to go to the prison and see him face-to-face in a small room and three of us will make a statement.
"It's gut-wrenching. I don't know how else to describe it,'' she added.