Convicted Chowchilla bus kidnapper eligible for parole

November 2, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
One of three men who helped kidnap a busload of Chowchilla schoolchildren more than 30 years ago has been deemed suitable for parole.But a state parole official says 54-year-old Richard Schoenfeld won't be released any time soon because the governor could modify Thursday's decision by a Board of Parole Hearings panel.

Schoenfeld, his brother James Schoenfeld and Frederick Newhall Woods are serving life prison sentences for the July 1976 crime.

The men commandeered a bus carrying 26 children near Chowchilla, took them to a quarry near Livermore and placed them in buried furniture van. The hostages spent about 16 hours there before they escaped.

Schoenfeld is currently held at the California Men's Colony in San Luis Obispo.

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