Kimeses To Face Calif. Murder Case

A mother-and-son team convicted in the death of an 82-year-old millionaire widow in Manhattan will be extradited to Los Angeles where they will face possible death sentences in another slaying, Gov. George Pataki announced today.

Pataki signed warrants that order the arrest of Kenneth Kimes and his mother, Sante, on the California charges and transfer their custody to the Los Angeles City Police Department. California Gov. Gray Davis made the extradition request, Pataki said.

“These murderers must be held accountable for each and every one of their vile acts,” Pataki said.

In May, the Kimeses were found guilty on charges related to a plot to kill Irene Silverman, a former Radio City Music Hall dancer, and steal her $7 million home. Silverman’s body was never found.

Both mother and son, natives of Oklahoma and longtime residents of Las Vegas, received life sentences in New York for the crime. He was serving his sentence at the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora; she is serving hers at the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility in Westchester County.

Recent Hostage SituationKenneth Kimes also face possible kidnapping charges for taking a Court TV producer hostage during an interview at the Clinton prison earlier this month. Kimes held a pen to the throat of Maria Zone for more than four hours before being distracted by a negotiator and tackled by guards.

During the standoff, Kimes demanded that his mother not be extradited to California.

In August 1999, Los Angeles prosecutors charged the Kimeses in the death of 64-year-old David J. Kazdin, a longtime friend and business partner of Mrs. Kimes’ late husband. Investigators said Kazdin was killed when he refused to go along with an alleged $280,000 fraud scheme hatched by Mrs. Kimes. Kazdin’s body was found in a trash bin near Los Angeles International Airport.

Pataki has advised that the required extradition hearings to be held in the prisons where the pair are confined or through videoconferencing because both Kimeses are considered escape risks.

California police will travel to New York to pick up the Kimeses and take them back to Los Angeles, authorities said.