Sex Offender Admits to Killing Two Teens

John Gardner enters guilty pleas to avoid death penalty possibility

Sex offender John Albert Gardner has pleaded guilty to killing two San Diego County teenage girls.

Gardner agreed Friday to enter the pleas in the deaths of 14-year-old Amber Dubois and 17-year-old Chelsea King. In exchange, prosecutors will not seek the death penalty.

Amber vanished in February 2009 and the investigation produced few solid leads until Chelsea disappeared Feb. 25, near the site where Amber went missing.

Gardner was arrested three days later. Chelsea's body was discovered March 2, in a shallow lakeside grave after a massive search. Prosecutors say Gardner was linked to the crime by DNA found on Chelsea's clothing.

The 31-year-old Gardner served five years in prison after pleading guilty in 2000 to molesting a 13-year-old girl. Records obtained by the Associated Press revealed that he violated parole by moving close to a school but was allowed to remain free.

View The Chelsea King case in a larger map

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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