Monday, June 2, 2008

Robert Steven Carson - Repeat Sex Offender

A prosecutor announced today he will seek the death penalty in the case of a convicted sex offender accused of killing a young Santee woman whose body was found in a trash can in the East County mountains.

Prosecutor John Rice made the announcement this morning as Robert Steven Carson, 40, appeared before Judge Allan Preckel in a hearing to determine the status of his case. Carson is charged with murder, attempted forcible rape and possession of methamphetamine in connection with last year's death of 24-year-old Brittany Hart.

The next status hearing in the case was set for Sept. 8 and a trial date was set for March 2.

Hart went missing May 24 last year and her body was discovered off Interstate 8 near Buckman Springs. Carson was arrested on June 5 by sheriff's detectives who say they linked the two through cell phone records.

A judge in April refused to drop a special circumstance allegation against Carson of murder during an attempted rape, which makes him eligible for the death penalty.

In a preliminary hearing last year, detectives testified that Hart met Carson at a Costco in La Mesa where she worked, and the next day she made an Internet search of a sexually suggestive name of a clothing line he had started.

The woman left a cell phone message to her mother that day and was never heard from again.

In a television appearance several months later, Carson claimed he killed Hart when she came at him with a knife.

Carson has previous convictions for attempted residential burglary and misdemeanor sexual battery.

"25% of all sex offenders re-offend within 15 years"
.........Sarah Tofte

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