Friday, August 29, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

No plea yet for Winters murder suspect

Gardner1W

William Carl Gardner III, second from left, is led into his arraignment hearing at the Yolo Country Courthouse on Friday. Wayne Tilcock/Enterprise photo

By
From page A1 | January 05, 2014 |

WOODLAND — The man accused of fatally shooting his ex-girlfriend in Winters was arraigned Friday on charges that could bring the death penalty if he is convicted.

William Carl Gardner III showed no visible reaction as Yolo Superior Court Judge David Rosenberg read aloud the allegations: one count of murder, with the special circumstance that Gardner carried out the killing by means of lying in wait; plus one count each of stalking and possession of a firearm by someone previously convicted of a felony.

The charges also carry enhancements alleging that Gardner personally used a firearm, and that he committed the crimes while on bail for another pending offense.

The 30-year-old Sacramento resident is accused of fatally shooting Leslie Pinkston, 32, on the morning of Nov. 18 as she sat in her parked vehicle outside her Railroad Avenue workplace. He was arrested in Las Vegas on Dec. 10, after three weeks on the run and a six-hour standoff in what authorities say was a friend’s apartment.

Yolo County Chief Deputy District Attorney Jonathan Raven said his office hasn’t yet decided whether it will seek the death penalty against Gardner, who is eligible for capital punishment in light of the special-circumstance allegation.

“The investigation at all levels is ongoing,” Raven said.

Although Gardner had been represented by the Yolo County Public Defender’s Office in three previous cases dating back to 2010, the office declared a conflict of interest in the murder case, which has been handed over to the county’s panel of conflict attorneys. The specific conflict was not disclosed in court, and Public Defender Tracie Olson declined to comment when reached by email Friday afternoon.

Defense attorney J. Toney, representing the conflict panel, deferred a plea entry and attempted to waive a formal reading of the charges Gardner is facing, but Rosenberg insisted upon reading the complaint “based on these charges.”

A large group of Pinkston’s friends and family sat in the courtroom gallery, and several of them wept as Rosenberg read the document, in which Pinkston was identified by her initials, L.P.

Rosenberg, standing in Friday for Commissioner Janene Beronio, who typically handles the court’s arraignment calendar, also assigned the case to his own courtroom and set a date of Jan. 16 for entry of a plea.

Three other pending cases — two for driving on a suspended license and one charging Gardner with stalking and threatening Pinkston and her mother nearly a year ago at their Winters home — will trail the murder case, Rosenberg said.

Gardner is being held in lieu of $100,000 bail combined for the three trailing cases, but that was rendered moot when Rosenberg also ordered a no-bail hold for the murder case. The defendant was extradited from Las Vegas last week, arriving in Yolo County late Monday night.

Court records show Gardner had been facing a Dec. 9 trial in the stalking case when he allegedly killed Pinkston, who was slated to testify against her former boyfriend. Gardner also was on probation for an unrelated domestic-violence case out of Sacramento County.

The nearly 20 people who came to court on Pinkston’s behalf left the brief hearing without commenting to reporters, and huddled briefly on a nearby sidewalk before going their separate ways. No one appeared to be in court for Gardner.

— Reach Lauren Keene at lkeene@davisenterprise.net or 530-747-8048. Follow her on Twitter at @laurenkeene

Comments

comments

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    Saving Putah Creek: a quiet concert at sunset

    By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A1

     
    Mr. Dolcini goes to Washington

    By Tanya Perez | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Winton to be feted for her many years of community work

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Researchers solve mystery of Death Valley’s moving rocks

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

    California extends review of $25B delta plan

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Assembly approves statewide ban on plastic bags

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Forum explores local mental health services

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Solar-cooking workshop set at Food Co-op

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Celebrate the Senior Center at Sept. 9 luncheon

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Need a new best friend?

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
    Equestrian eventing competition slated

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Dinner, auction benefit Yolo County CASA

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Kids can sign up for a library card and get a free book

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Explorit Science Center: Volunteers supercharge summer camp

    By Lisa Justice | From Page: A4 | Gallery

     
    Tee off for Davis’ continued prosperity

    By Lily Holmes | From Page: A4

     
    Bodega Marine Laboratory hosts open house

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5 | Gallery

     
    Local group charts a year’s worth of beauty in flowers

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

    Free blood pressure screenings offered

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    Name Droppers: UCD honors two of its own

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6

     
    .

    Forum

    Let’s sell the MRAP on eBay

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: C2

     
    Seeing both sides of ‘tank’

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: C2

    What if we need MRAP?

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: C2

     
    How could tank be helpful?

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: C2

     
    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: C2

    Don’t sentence our police to death

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: C2, 1 Comment

     
    Will Davis see river water?

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: C2

    Travel buddy is getting too fat

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    .

    Sports

    Forget the score; focus on the energy brought by Aggies

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

     
    Returning seniors, new faces lead promising DHS links squad

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Devil golfers return from Scotland with smiles on their faces

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Devils scrimmage with Sac

    By Wayne Tilcock | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    UCD-Stanford: the clock is down to counting the minutes

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

     
    Sports briefs: DHS girls fall by the slimmest of net margins

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B6 | Gallery

    Wire briefs: Aces cruise past Cats at Raley

    By Wire and staff reports | From Page: B6

     
    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    ‘The November Man’: Who can be trusted?

    By Derrick Bang | From Page: A9 | Gallery

     
    B Street’s ‘The Ladies Foursome’ is aces

    By Bev Sykes | From Page: A9 | Gallery

    .

    Business

    Technology makes a great car better

    By Ali Arsham | From Page: C1 | Gallery

     
    .

    Obituaries

    Margarita Elizondo

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Elaine Dracia Greenberg

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    .

    Comics