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Governor weighs parole for California school bus hijacker
July 31, 2015 00:18 GMT

Eds: APNewsNow. Clarifies that Brown could send the case back to parole board. Will be updated from expected decision; timing uncertain. With AP Photos.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- California's governor is deciding whether to allow parole for one of three men convicted in the kidnapping of 26 children and their school bus driver nearly 40 years ago.

The hostages were taken from Chowchilla in the Central Valley to a quarry near Livermore and held captive inside a buried, ventilated trailer stocked with mattresses, food and water. They eventually managed to dig their way out and escaped unhurt.

Gov. Jerry Brown has until midnight Thursday to decide whether to approve parole for 63-year-old James Schoenfeld or send the case back to the board that recommended his release.

Schoenfeld, his brother, Richard, and friend Fred Woods were convicted of kidnapping the children ranging in age from 5 to 14.

Richard Schoenfeld was paroled in 2012. Woods could have a parole hearing this fall.