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Sex offender caught living near day care gets prison

A registered sex offender caught living near a day care center will spend more than seven years in prison as a habitual felon.
Derrick Gardner was convicted in Superior Court this week of failure to report address of a registered sex offender and sex offender residence violation, both felonies, a news release from the Rowan County District Attorneys Office said.
Following the jurys verdict, Gardner admitted his status as a habitual felon. Judge Ronald E. Spivey sentenced Gardner to a minimum of 88 months to a maximum of 118 months in prison.
A detective with the Rowan County Sheriffs Office found Gardner in June living at 900 Holmes St., within 1,000 feet of a daycare center, the press release said. His registered address was 930 N. Church St., but required GPS monitoring showed him spending the night at the Holmes Street house.
As a registered sex offender, Gardner was prohibited from living within 1,000 feet of a school or daycare and was also required to report any change in his address within three business days after moving.
Gardner was previously convicted of felony indecent liberties with a child, felony possession of a controlled substance and felony larceny, among other crimes.
Assistant District Attorney Paxton Butler prosecuted the case.
“It is important for families to know where a registered sex offender is living in their community in order to protect their children, Rowan County District Attorney Brandy Cook said in the news release.
Cook said parents who want more information about safety tips for their children, accessing information about registered sex offenders in their area, or receiving notification if a registered sex offender moves into their neighborhood should visit the North Carolina Sex Offender Registry website.

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