Parole recommended for inmate in 1976 school bus hijacking, Frederick Woods

California parole commissioners have advisable parole for the final of three males convicted of hijacking a faculty bus full of youngsters for a multi-million-dollar ransom in 1976.

The two commissioners determined Frederick Woods, now aged 70, is not a hazard to the general public after earlier panels had denied him parole 17 occasions.

The parole advice by Commissioner Patricia Cassady and Deputy Commissioner Keith Stanton may nonetheless be rejected by Gov. Gavin Newsom.

July 15
The hijackers stole the bus full of youngsters, then buried them in a truck as they negotiated a ransom. (AP)

Woods’ accomplices, brothers Richard and James Schoenfeld, had been freed years in the past. An appeals court docket ordered Richard Schoenfeld launched in 2012, and former Gov. Jerry Brown paroled James Schoenfeld in 2015.

All three had been from rich San Francisco Bay Area households once they kidnapped 26 youngsters and their bus driver close to Chowchilla.

They buried the kids, ages 5 to 14, together with their bus driver in a ventilated underground bunker east of San Francisco. The victims had been in a position to dig their means out greater than a day later.

Woods learn an apology for his crime, in accordance with a pool report from Friday’s listening to by CBS News producer George Osterkamp.

Three masked males hijacked a faculty bus in Chowchilla, California on July 15, 1976, taking the motive force and 26 youngsters hostage. (Nine Archives)

“I’ve had empathy for the victims which I didn’t have then,” Woods stated. “I’ve had a character change since then.”

“I was 24 years old,” he added. “Now I fully understand the terror and trauma I caused. I fully take responsibility for this heinous act.”

California regulation now requires parole commissioners to offer better weight to releasing inmates who had been youthful offenders once they dedicated their crime, and those that are actually aged and have served prolonged jail sentences.

All three had been initially sentenced to jail for the remainder of their lives. However, an appeals court docket later lowered their sentences to life with the opportunity of parole.

The three deliberate for greater than a 12 months to ransom the kids for the equal of $31m in as we speak’s cash from the state Board of Education.

Twenty-six kidnapped Chowchilla school children and their bus driver were buried in this truck.
Twenty-six kidnapped Chowchilla college youngsters and their bus driver had been buried on this truck. (AP)

James Schoenfeld as soon as advised parole officers that he envied mates who had “his-and-hers Ferraris.” Woods stated throughout an earlier parole listening to that he simply “got greedy.”

Madera County prosecutors in earlier parole hearings stated Woods’ disciplinary infractions confirmed he had not but discovered to comply with the foundations.

But Woods and his lawyer, Dominique Banos, emphasised that he had a discipline-free document since his final parole listening to in October 2019.

They additionally beforehand questioned why among the victims testified that Woods needs to be launched, though others beforehand stated he deserved to stay behind bars.

Frederick Woods has been denied parole 17 times.
Frederick Woods had been denied parole 17 occasions. (AP)

Two survivors, Larry Park and Rebecca Reynolds Dailey, spoke in favour of Woods’ parole.

But opposing Woods’ launch had been survivors Jennifer Brown Hyde and Laura Yazzi Fanning; Matthew Medrano, son of survivor Jodi Heffington Medrano who has since died; and Carol Marshall, mom of survivor Michael Marshall, and Lynda Carrejo.

Woods and his lawyer had been on the California Men’s Colony jail in San Luis Obispo, whereas different individuals had been in distant areas due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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Woods’ parole has additionally beforehand been backed by some outstanding supporters, together with Democratic US Rep. Anna Eshoo of Palo Alto in 2015.

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