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Father expects Calif. to reject claim over slaying of teen daughter by paroled sex offender

The father of a teen girl killed by a paroled sex offender said Thursday he expects a board that considers compensation for California crime victims to reject his claim that authorities were liable for his daughter's death.

Brent King's claim regarding his 17-year-old daughter Chelsea details how John Gardner repeatedly violated parole but was not returned to prison. It also alleges Gardner was not properly monitored by state authorities.

The claim is almost identical to one filed by the parents of 14-year-old Amber Dubois, who also was killed by Gardner. The California Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board previously rejected that claim.

"Our assumption is that this claim will be rejected as well," said King, who filed the legal action Aug. 26 to meet a six-month deadline for making allegations of government wrongdoing.

Chelsea's body was found March 2 in a remote area of San Diego, five days after she went missing on an afternoon run.

Brent King said he has not decided whether to eventually sue the state or agree to have a mediator settle the dispute — possible scenarios if his claim is rejected.

He said his decision would depend on how painful the process would be for his family.

"If we hadn't filed the claim, we would have lost our rights," he explained.

King's claim details how Gardner violated parole after serving five years in prison for molesting a 13-year-old girl in 2000. Those violations included being within 100 yards of places where children gather.

"Had Gardner been returned to prison or even if the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation had continued to monitor Gardner electronically until he showed an ability to serve his parole without violation, Chelsea King would be alive today," the claim states.

The board rejected the Dubois claim because it raised complex issues the panel felt should be settled in court, said spokeswoman Lynn Margherita. Its decision did not address the merits of the complaint, she said.

The board has yet to schedule a date to consider King's claim. It meets next on Sept. 16.

Gardner, 31, was sentenced in May to life in prison without parole for raping and murdering King and Dubois.

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