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Crime & Courts

Chelsea King Murder Suspect Repeatedly Stopped by Cops

SAN DIEGO -- The sex offender charged with murdering a San Diego County teen was repeatedly fined for drug and driving offenses after his prison release -- once while driving a car that later may have been used in an attempted kidnapping.

Law enforcement records show John Gardner III was cited at least eight times between his 2005 prison release and his arrest last month for Chelsea King's death.

The records show he and another sex offender were found smoking pot at an Oceanside park in 2008.

Gardner was stopped in Escondido last June for driving without insurance. His gold Pontiac matched the description of a car used four months later in the attempted gunpoint abduction of a girl in his hometown of Lake Elsinore.

Authorities seized a similar car on March 11 from an Escondido junkyard. It was not immediately clear whether the car belongs to Gardner.

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