JUDGMENT

Gardner Sentenced to Life Without Parole

John Gardner III, the registered sex offender who pleaded guilty in April to murdering two teenagers while attempting to rape them, was sentenced Friday in San Diego to life in prison without the possibility of parole. The families of the victims—Amber Dubois, 14, and Chelsea King, 17—gave moving testimony in court about the young lives tragically cut short and another victim who had escaped Gardner during a rape attempt also addressed the court. The case sparked controversy after police and family asked for restricted access to the press to the investigation, which raised questions to how diligently the police had pursued Gardner—who was on the sex-offender registry—in Dubois' murder. The King family, backed by state legislators and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, has called for stricter penalties for sex offenders who have attacked minors. Gardner pleaded guilty to avoid the death penalty.