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Judge To Consider Lifting Gag Order In Gardner Case

John Albert Gardner
Department of Justice
John Albert Gardner

UPDATE: Judge Lifts Gag Order In Gardner Murder Case

A San Diego judge today will consider lifting a gag order in the case of a convicted sex offender who admitted raping and killing 17-year-old Chelsea King and 14-year-old Amber Dubois.

John Albert Gardner III, 31, pleaded guilty Friday to the rapes and murders of Chelsea, a Poway High senior, and Amber, an Escondido High School freshman.

Attorneys for Chelsea's parents asked San Diego Superior Court Judge David Danielsen on Tuesday for an order to stop the news media from making public information contained in court documents about the killings. Danielsen met privately attorneys involved in the killings, then scheduled a hearing on the issue for today.

According to the King family, attorney Pat Swan will "advocate for suppression of certain documents under victims' rights statutes.

"This action has become necessary in response by some media outlets to obtain the release of all records related to Chelsea's death, which runs counter to the King's family's wishes to honor their daughter's memory, and to allow the community to heal," the Kings stated.

Gardner attacked, raped and killed Chelsea, who disappeared after going for a run Feb. 25 at Rancho Bernardo Community Park. The avid runner and straight-A student's body was found March 2 in a shallow grave near a tributary of nearby Lake Hodges -- not far from Gardner's mother's home.

Gardner admitted attacking King while she was jogging, taking her to a remote area where he raped and strangled her and buried her in a shallow grave.

He also admitted killing Amber Dubois, who vanished Feb. 13, 2009, while walking to Escondido High School. Her skeletal remains were found March 6 in Pala based on what Gardner told authorities.