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Chelsea King’s Parents Decide Against Suing State Over Daughter’s Murder

— The prospect of a nasty court fight has prompted the parents of Chelsea King to decide against suing the State of California for their daughter’s murder.

Legal experts had predicted the King family would have a strong lawsuit against the state. California’s own inspector general found that both Chelsea and Escondido teen Amber Dubois would be alive today if the Department of Corrections had properly monitored convicted sex offender John Gardner before he killed the girls. But Chelsea’s father Brent King said even if he had prevailed in a lawsuit, going to court is always a negative and draining experience.

“Our immediate focus for our family is to heal and everyday we spend in some sort of negative activity just delays that,” King said.

He argued that even if a court had ruled in the family’s favor, children would not be any safer from sex offenders.

“Do you think that by taking money from the government, they will change their ways? King asked. “Or do you think that by raising a voice and a conscience of an engaged community, we can make them change?”

The King family hopes to accomplish the latter through a foundation established in Chelsea’s name.

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Photo of Amita Sharma

Amita Sharma
Investigative Reporter

opening quote marksclosing quote marksAs an investigative reporter for KPBS, I've helped expose political scandals and dug into intractable issues like sex trafficking. I've raised tough questions about how government treats foster kids. I've spotlighted the problem of pollution in poor neighborhoods. And I've chronicled corporate mistakes and how the public sometimes ends up paying for them.

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