By Ron Jones


YOLO COUNTY (CBS13) — The man accused of murdering his ex-girlfriend in Winters last November faced a jury for the first time on Thursday.

William Gardner III is accused of ambushing and shooting his ex-girlfriend, Leslie Pinkston.

The Yolo County district attorney says Gardner is nothing more than a cold-blooded killed who devised a plan to execute his girlfriend.

Prosecutors played a chilling 911 tape and showed photos from the crime scene showing Pinkston’s lifeless body slumped in the driver’s seat of her car.

Gardner is accused of ambushing her and shooting her execution style.

Weeks later, and on the run, he was cornered in a Las Vegas home by a SWAT team. Before surrendering Gardner made a surprise phone call to CBS13’s Derek Shore.

“I know that even if I tell police the full story, the full story is never going to come out,” he said in the interview. “Those that know me, they actually know me. They know who I am; they know how good I am; they know how solid I am as an individual, You know, who don’t know me, they can only speculate.”

But during Thursday’s murder trial, the prosecution painted Gardner as a typical, manipulative, abusive boyfriend who snapped when he learned Pinkston had a new boyfriend.

She tried to break it off with Gardner the night before her demise, prosecutors showed with a text she sent Gardner saying “Goodbye Will. This will be my last text.”

Unfortunately it was. The next morning, she was dead.

Gardner’s defense attorney says his client was suffering depression and suicidal thoughts before he killed Pinkston.

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