Ex-CHP Officer Convicted Of Murder Denied Parole

A former California Highway Patrol officer ,who strangled a 20-year-old San Diego State University student and dumped her body over a bridge after a 1986 traffic stop, was denied parole Thursday.

It was the second bid for freedom for Craig Peyer, now 57, who will not be eligible for parole again for another four years, according to Paul Levikow of the San Diego County District Attorney's Office.

The California Board of Parole Hearings made its decision after an hours-long hearing at a state prison in San Luis Obispo.

The board determined that Peyer remains a threat to the community and hasn't availed himself of any of the self-help ideas that board members suggested the last time he was up for parole four years ago, according to Levikow.

Peyer was convicted in 1988 of first-degree murder in the death of Cara Knott and was sentenced to 25 years to life in state prison.

Two of the victim's sisters and Supervising Deputy District Attorney Richard Sachs spoke at today's hearing at the California Men's Colony. One of her siblings also read an autobiography that Knott wrote for a college entrance application.

Knott called her parents the night of Dec. 27, 1986, and told them she was on her way home to El Cajon from her boyfriend's residence in Escondido.

When she didn't return home, the Knott family called authorities because their daughter had always been reliable and responsible.

They would later find out that Peyer, then a 36-year-old patrolman, followed their daughter down Interstate 15 and signaled for her to pull off the freeway at Mercy Road, a dark and isolated off-ramp.

Prosecutors said the coed became uncomfortable with Peyer and tried to escape, but he strangled her and dumped her body over a bridge.

Her father successfully pushed for legislation that made responding to a missing persons report a priority for law enforcement.

Sam Knott also worked to establish a memorial garden near the Mercy Road off-ramp where his daughter was killed. He died there seven years ago while tending to the garden of oak trees.

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