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Chowchilla 'busnapper' wins release from prison

3:55 PM, Jun 15, 2012   |    comments
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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- One of three men who kidnapped and hid a busload of California schoolchildren in a 1970s ransom attempt has gained his freedom after 34 years in prison.

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation announced Friday that it would release Richard Schoenfeld later this month after the state Supreme Court refused to review his parole case. The department didn't disclose an exact release date or location for Schoenfeld's parole.

An appeals court earlier this year ordered his release after ruling the Board of Parole Hearings unfairly set his release date for 2021 even though it concluded he wasn't a threat to society.

Schoenfeld and two other men each pleaded guilty in 1977 to burying 26 children and driver in a truck underground. The hostages escaped without serious injuries.

The Associated Press

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