State Officials Appeal Release Of Chowchilla School Bus Kidnapper

CHOWCHILLA (CBS/AP) – California officials are appealing a court order that called for the immediate release of one of three men convicted of kidnapping and burying a busload of schoolchildren in a 1970s ransom attempt.

The Fresno Bee reports that the state Attorney General’s Office filed its appeal Monday in Richard Schoenfeld’s case with the California Supreme Court.

A lower court ruled in February that Schoenfeld had served his sentence after 34 years behind bars and should be released from prison.

The court, however, did allow for an appeal of its decision.

Schoenfeld, his brother and another man pleaded guilty to holding 26 Chowchilla children and their bus driver hostage in a buried truck in 1976. Authorities say the trio planned to demand a $5 million ransom.

The victims eventually escaped.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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