School bus kidnapper could be released in May

Posted on March 8, 2012

SAN FRANCISCO — A man who hijacked a bus containing 26 Chowchilla schoolchildren and their driver in 1976 could be released on parole as soon as May due to a state appellate court ruling last week, the Bay City News reports.

As SBF previously reported, Richard Schoenfeld, one of three men responsible for kidnapping the children and their school bus driver, was deemed suitable for parole by a two-person parole board in 2010 — a decision that was later rescinded. In April of last year, the state's parole board reconsidered the decision and found Schoenfeld suitable for parole.

The First District Court of Appeal in San Francisco ruled that Schoenfeld has completed his sentence for the crime. The ruling will become final at the end of April; Schoenfeld's lawyer, Scott Handleman, said he is hopeful that his client will be released in early May unless the state Board of Parole Hearings files an appeal.

The other kidnappers, James Schoenfeld and Frederick Woods, have not been found suitable for parole.

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Related Topics: school bus security

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