Sex offender Carson admits to killing woman, dumping body - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Sex offender Carson admits to killing woman, dumping body

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EL CAJON, Calif. (CBS 8) - A convicted sex offender who was accused in the 2007 disappearance and death of a Santee woman pleaded guilty to murder in a deal to avoid the death penalty.

Robert Steven Carson, 42, was sentenced to 91 years to life in prison for killing 24-year-old Brittany Hart and placing her body in a container of acid, according to a City News Service report.

According to Deputy District Attorney John Rice, the sentence is the equivalent to life in prison without the chance of parole.

Hart disappeared in May 2007 and her body was discovered nearly a month later off Interstate 8 near Buckman Springs.

Investigators said Hart met Carson at Costco in La Mesa, where she worked. It was believed that Carson approached her about modeling work for a clothing line he started. She disappeared the next day after leaving her mother a cell phone message.

Hart's sister Brandea Reynolds told the judge her sister was taken before her time and in the worst way.

"The only time I want to hear his [Carson's] name again is in the obituaries," Reynolds told reporters outside the courtroom.

In a statement before his sentencing, Carson told the judge he suspected the sheriff's department was being taken over by "rogue deputies." He also said Hart was "cool" and that he didn't hate her.

"Everything said about Brittany was true. She was one of the sweetest girls I ever met," Carson said. "I'm deeply sorry."

Carson's attorneys approached prosecutors about a plea deal about a week ago, Rice said.

Rice also said the decomposed state of Hart's body would have made it difficult to connect Carson to her death.

Carson was convicted of a sex assault at age 15 in Ohio. He was later convicted of assault to commit rape in 1987 and misdemeanor sexual battery in 2003.

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