Crime, Fire + Courts

Reward offered for murder suspect’s capture

By From page A1 | November 24, 2013

The Winters Volunteer Firefighters Association has joined the call for an arrest in last week’s murder of Leslie Pinkston, offering $1,000 for information leading to the capture of the Winters woman’s alleged killer.

Winters police, meanwhile, announced the issuance of a nationwide all-points bulletin for the suspect, 30-year-old William Carl Gardner III, though investigators say they believe he may still be in the Sacramento area.

Police also disclosed Saturday that a search of a Sacramento house about 12 hours after the Monday-morning shooting led to officers’ recovery of “what they believe to be a piece of evidence” in the case, though specifics about the evidence were not released “due to the ongoing investigation.”

“Law enforcement’s goal is to preserve the integrity of the investigation to ensure a successful prosecution of William Gardner upon his capture,” a Winters Police Department news release said.

The all-points bulletin augments the nationwide search efforts already underway by the U.S. Marshals Service, which joined the hunt Wednesday and also is offering a $2,000 reward for information leading to Gardner’s apprehension. Winters police have obtained a warrant for his arrest.

“Increasing the amount of reward money available is one way the Winters Volunteer Firefighters Association can help; having this suspect in custody would be one step in the healing process for our community,” Rudy Valencia, president of the association, said in a statement announcing the reward.

Gardner, who has a history of domestic violence, weapon and drug-related convictions, allegedly fired several shots into Pinkston’s vehicle at about 9:30 a.m. Monday after she had parked in front of her Railroad Avenue workplace. Pinkston, 32, was Gardner’s ex-girlfriend and was slated to testify against him in a stalking and criminal threats trial next month in Yolo Superior Court.

Witnesses reported seeing the gunman flee the scene in a tan van.

Gardner should still be considered armed and dangerous, authorities say. He is described as African-American male, 5-foot-10 and 180 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes. He also goes by the alias Malik Mahammad.

Anyone with information about him is urged to contact Winters police at 530-795-4561, or the U.S. Marshals Service at 877-926-8332.

— Reach Lauren Keene at [email protected] or 530-747-8048. Follow her on Twitter at @laurenkeene

Lauren Keene

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