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Schwarzenegger to sign Chelsea's Law measure today in Southern California

Legislation tightens sex offense parole guidelines, requires lifelong tracking

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is expected to sign legislation today in San Diego's Balboa Park that requires a life sentence without the possibility of parole for forcible sex acts against minors. It would also tighten sex offense parole guidelines and require lifelong tracking of certain sex offenders.

The legislation is named for Chelsea King, a Poway (Calif.) High School senior who was raped and killed Feb. 25 by registered sex offender John Albert Gardner III, who grabbed her while she was jogging at a nearby park. Searchers found the 17-year-old's body a few days later in a shallow grave on the shore of Lake Hodges near Poway.

At the bill signing ceremony, Schwarzenegger will be joined at Spreckels Organ Pavilion by Chelsea's parents, Brent and Kelly King, and the bill's author, Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher R-San Diego).

Assembly Bill 1844, also known as Chelsea's Law, was approved unanimously by the state Senate and Assembly.

Gardner, 31, was sentenced in May to two life terms without parole for murdering and sexually assaulting Chelsea and for abducting, raping and fatally stabbing 14-year-old Amber Dubois of Escondido a year earlier. Gardner was on parole for other sex crimes when he murdered the teens.

A package of bills promoted by Amber's father that are intended to improve law enforcement handling of missing person cases also await the governor's signature.

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