SAN DIEGO -- Chelsea King's parents were busy in San Diego this week preparing for hearings involving Chelsea's Law, a bill passed in honor of their murdered daughter, and to interview local students for college scholarships.
On Friday, Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher joined Brent and Kelly King to announce a plan to make sure Chelsea's Law is being implemented as it was conceived. The bill passed by voters last year has three legislative hearings scheduled for the next few months.
One hearing will be to determine how the new Sex Offender Management Board and Department of Corrections are doing in creating risk management models and treatment standards and to find out if deadlines are being met or if obstacles are being encountered.
The second hearing will be on the results of an audit of the Department of Mental Health's Sex Offender Commitment Program, which determines if inmates due for release can be held longer as sexually violent predators.
The third will be to find out if the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation is implementing reforms to its GPS monitoring program, which was found to be deficient after Chelsea died.
"We remain focused on making sure the Department of Corrections does what it's supposed to do," said Fletcher. "New laws and procedures only work if they are fully implemented and utilized. We are committed to remaining vigilant and ensuring that errors of the past don't happen again."
Chelsea King was jogging along a trail above Rancho Bernardo Community Park on Feb. 25, 2010, when she was grabbed by convicted sex offender John Albert Gardner III, rape, and killed. Her body was found on the shore of Lake Hodges several days later at the end of an intensive search by law enforcement and volunteers.
Gardner later admitted that he killed both Chelsea and 14-year-old Escondido High School freshman Amber Dubois. He was sentenced to life in prison without parole.
"The worst thing that Kelly and I could imagine, outside of what we've been through, is having another family go through what we went through, because we didn't' implement the law," said Brent King.
The Kings, who are working to pass Chelsea's Law in other states, plan to attend at least one of the hearings, according to Fletcher.
Meanwhile, the Kings were also in San Diego interviewing the finalists for their first scholarship program. Chelsea was just weeks away from heading to college, but her parents hope to give other local kids the chance their daughter never had.
"We're incredibly excited about that," said Brent King.
About 300 students from all across the county applied for the aptly named "Sunflower" scholarships. Sunflowers were Chelsea King's favorite flower. One student will receive a $10,000 scholarship, while nine other students will receive $2,000.
Brent and Kelly said they've read every application.
"Each child is so unique and wonderful in their own way," said Kelly King.
Chelsea's Light Foundation has certainly grown since its founding. Chelsea's Run was a big success, exceeding the amount of participants. The foundation is also looking into creating peer counseling programs at local high schools that can't afford it.
Winners of scholarships will be notified in the coming weeks.
Hearings to determine whether Chelsea's Law is working
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