William Gardner III is in custody on a murder charge today, after a six-hour standoff negotiation in Las Vegas.
U.S. Marshall Albert Najera joined Winters Chief of Police Sergio Gutierrez at the Winters Police Department Tuesday morning to host a press conference addressing the incident surrounding Gardner’s arrest.
“We received information that he was in the [Las Vegas] area, and located him by good old fashioned detective work,” explained Najera, “This is a happy day for us, this is what do, we look for fugitives.”
Najera said that the U.S. Marshall Service had searched extensively for Gardner, but until Monday he had done an exceptional job of staying under the radar.
“It is unknown how long he was in Vegas for,” says Najera, although he says it is clear he had help.
He explained that although it is unclear whether the woman and child in the apartment where Gardner was found were ever in any danger, they are considered his friends, and Las Vegas Police could be considering charges for harboring a fugitive.
Gutierrez says that arrangements are now being made to have Gardner extradited to Yolo County to be arraigned.
The hostage negotiations, handled by Las Vegas Police, were successful in bringing Gardner into custody peacefully around 1 a.m. Tuesday.
“We believe he is the killer... We will continue investigating to bring justice,” said Gutierrez, explaining that the motive is still being investigated.
Gardner is accused of shooting Leslie Pinkston, 32, multiple times while she was sitting in her vehicle on Nov. 19, at approximately 9:30 a.m. in Winters. Pinkston leaves behind a 6-year old daughter, to whom Gardner is not related.
The murder has saddened the small community of Winters, a town that saw its last homicide in 2009.