- Associated Press - Sunday, November 2, 2014

WINTERS, Calif. (AP) - Jurors have found a 30-year-old man with a history of domestic violence guilty of murdering his ex-girlfriend last year as she sat in her car in the middle of a Northern California farming town.

Yolo County jurors found William Carl Gardner III guilty of killing Leslie Pinkston in November 2013, the Sacramento Bee reported Friday (https://bit.ly/1wVboOg ).

Pinkston, 32 at the time, was shot at close range while parked in downtown Winters, a town of 7,000 residents 30 miles west of Sacramento. The newspaper reports that Gardner shot Pinkston three days after being released on bail for an unrelated domestic violence arrest.

Gardner was also found guilty of five enhancements, including the use of a firearm causing death, committing a felony while released on bail and being a convicted felon in possession of a weapon.

After Pinkston’s shooting, Garner was the subject of a month-long manhunt. He was arrested in Las Vegas, ending a six-hour standoff with federal authorities at an apartment complex.

The newspaper cites court records showing Gardner, who is also known as Malik Mahammad, had a history of arrests in Sacramento County on charges ranging from making criminal threats and domestic violence to firearms violation and drug possession.

On the day of his Las Vegas arrest, Gardner was due in the Yolo County Superior Court to answer charges that he had stalked and threatened Pinkston and her mother at the pair’s Winters home in January 2013.

Gardner’s attorney, J. Toney, could not be reached Sunday by The Associated Press for comment. Gardner is scheduled to be sentenced to state prison on Dec. 1.


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