Police Free Producer Held Hostage by Murderer

ByABC News
October 10, 2000, 5:33 PM

N E W   Y O R K, Oct. 11 -- Three hours after being taken hostage at the point of a pen Tuesday by a con man found guilty of murdering a missing New York millionaire, a Court TV producer said she started to get angry.

Freelance producer Maria Zone had traveled to the Clinton Correctional Facility in upstate New York to interview Kenneth Kimes, who was convicted along with his mother of killing Irene Silverman in a plot to steal her $7 million Manhattan townhouse.

Kimes held Zone for four hours before prison officials were able to end the standoff.

He stuck this pen under my chin and said, This is a hostage situation, and wrapped his right arm around my neck and had the pen at that point in his left hand, Zone told ABCs Good Morning America today.

There were times where I broke down, you know, and Id say,Please dont hurt me. Please dont hurt me. There were other times I was trying to reason with him. But Ill tell you, when it got to that, past that third hour, thats when I was getting angry at him, Zone said.

Kimes and his mother, Sante, were each sentenced to more than 120 years in prison for murdering Silverman.

Kimes took Zone hostage as she was about to begin a jailhouse interview for the New York-based legal news channel.

Thank God Shes SafeNew York State Department of Correctional Services spokesman James Flateau said Zone was taken hostage at 2:20 p.m., when Kimes grabbed her in the visiting room of the facility and told her cameraand sound operators as well as security personnel to back off.