Inmates return to normal day following release of reporter

Associated Press

DANNEMORA, N.Y. — Convicted killer Kenneth Kimes was a popular and willing media subject, having spoken with CNN’s Larry King and Details magazine.

But Tuesday’s interview with Court TV likely marked his final appearance before cameras, the corrections department said.

Kimes held a free-lance producer for Court TV hostage for four hours on Tuesday, demanding that his co-defendant, his mother Sante, not be extradited to California on murder charges. Both could face the death penalty.

In an interview Wednesday on NBC’s "Today" show, producer Maria Zone said she was "a little sore from being grabbed" but was otherwise unharmed.

The incident began about 2:20 p.m. when Kimes asked Zone to get him some candy bars. When she returned, Kimes grabbed her, backed her into a corner, put a pen under her chin and said, "This is a hostage situation."

As they crouched in a corner, Zone said she thought, "This is a man who’s been convicted of murder … He may use (the pen) as a lethal weapon."

About four hours into the ordeal, a prison official arrived to negotiate with Kimes, Zone said. By then, Kimes and Zone were sitting in chairs, their arms linked.

"I thought, ‘If I get a dislocated shoulder out of this, that’s OK,’ " Zone said.

She said the prison official managed to distract Kimes and guards jumped in and wrestled him to the floor.

Kimes is serving a 125-year sentence for murdering Irene Silverman in a scheme to steal her $7 million Manhattan home. His mother was sentenced in June to more than 120 years for the same crime.

Silverman’s body was never found. Their lawyers said they were planning appeals.

Extradition hearings are being scheduled for both Kimeses, said James Flateau, Department of Correctional Services spokesman.

The two were also indicted in the 1998 murder of a business associate.

Kenneth Kimes spent Tuesday night in an observation cell under the constant eye of correctional officers, Flateau said. Kimes will later be moved to disciplinary housing where he will be confined 23 hours a day and allowed out for one hour of exercise daily.

As a precaution, Sante Kimes also was moved into a special housing unit from the general prison population, Flateau said.

On Tuesday, Details released letters in which Kimes begged for interviews to demonstrate his innocence. The Arts and Entertainment channel also had an interview scheduled for Thursday, which has now been canceled.

Zone had interviewed Kimes several weeks ago, conducted the talk without problem and returned Tuesday to interview him on camera for "Crime Stories," a documentary-style program. Her previous work included reporting on Thomas Capano, convicted of murder in Delaware.

Fredericka Brookfield, a Court TV spokeswoman, said the network has no video footage of the standoff, and corrections officials said there are no surveillance cameras in the room where the hostage situation happened.

Matthew Weissmann, one of Kimes’ lawyers, said Tuesday that his client seemed more content than he had been at Rikers Island, and the hostage-taking shocked him.

"In the two and a half years that I’ve known Kenny, he’s never shown that he would do anything like this, despite the charges he was convicted on. He must’ve totally snapped or something," Weissmann said.

Zone said the incident won’t keep her from doing more prison interviews.

"Just because you have a bad day at work doesn’t mean you quit your job," she said.

Copyright ©2000 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Local News

Snohomish residents Barbara Bailey, right, and Beth Jarvis sit on a gate atop a levee on Bailey’s property on Monday, May 13, 2024, at Bailey Farm in Snohomish, Washington. Bailey is concerned the expansion of nearby Harvey Field Airport will lead to levee failures during future flood events due to a reduction of space for floodwater to safely go. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Harvey Field seeks to reroute runway in floodplain, faces new pushback

Snohomish farmers and neighbors worry the project will be disruptive and worsen flooding. Ownership advised people to “read the science.”

IAM District 751 machinists join the picket line to support Boeing firefighters during their lockout from the company on Thursday, May 16, 2024, in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Amid lockout, Boeing, union firefighters return to bargaining table

The firefighters and the planemaker held limited negotiations this week: They plan to meet again Monday, but a lockout continues.

2 injured in Bothell Everett Highway crash

The highway was briefly reduced to one northbound lane while police investigated the three-car crash Saturday afternoon.

Heavy traffic northbound on 1-5 in Everett, Washington on August 31, 2022.  (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
On I-5 in Everett, traffic nightmare is reminder we’re ‘very vulnerable’

After a police shooting shut down the freeway, commutes turned into all-night affairs. It was just a hint of what could be in a widespread disaster.

Anthony Brock performs at Artisans PNW during the first day of the Fisherman’s Village Music Fest on Thursday, May 16, 2024 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
At downtown Everett musical festival: ‘Be weird and dance with us’

In its first night, Fisherman’s Village brought together people who “might not normally be in the same room together” — with big acts still to come.

Two troopers place a photo of slain Washington State Patrol trooper Chris Gadd outside District 7 Headquarters about twelve hours after Gadd was struck and killed on southbound I-5 about a mile from the headquarters on Saturday, March 2, 2024, in Marysville, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Judge reduces bail for driver accused of killing Marysville trooper

After hearing from Raul Benitez Santana’s family, a judge decreased bail to $100,000. A deputy prosecutor said he was “very disappointed.”

Pet detective Jim Branson stops to poke through some fur that Raphael the dog found while searching on Saturday, March 2, 2024, in Everett, Washington. Branson determined the fur in question was likely from a rabbit, and not a missing cat.(Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Lost a pet? Pet detective James Branson and his dogs may be able to help

James Branson, founder of Three Retrievers Lost Pet Rescue, helps people in the Seattle area find their missing pets for $350.

Whidbey Renaissance Faire volunteers pose in their costumes. (Photo by Bree Eaton)
Faire thee well: Renaissance is coming to Whidbey Island

The volunteer-run fair May 25 and 26 will feature dancers, a juggler, ‘Fakespeare,’ various live music shows and lots of food.

Community Transit leaders, from left, Chief Communications Officer Geoff Patrick, Zero-Emissions Program Manager Jay Heim, PIO Monica Spain, Director of Maintenance Mike Swehla and CEO Ric Ilgenfritz stand in front of Community Transit’s hydrogen-powered bus on Monday, May 13, 2024, at the Community Transit Operations Base in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
New hydrogen, electric buses get trial run in Snohomish County

As part of a zero-emission pilot program from Community Transit, the hydrogen bus will be the first in the Puget Sound area.

Two people fight on the side of I-5 neat Marysville. (Photo provided by WSDOT)
Video: Man charged at trooper, shouting ‘Who’s the boss?’ before shooting

The deadly shooting shut down northbound I-5 near Everett for hours. Neither the trooper nor the deceased had been identified as of Friday.

Two people fight on the side of I-5 neat Marysville. (Photo provided by WSDOT)
Road rage, fatal police shooting along I-5 blocks traffic near Everett

An attack on road workers preceded a report of shots fired Thursday, snarling freeway traffic in the region for hours.

The Port of Everett and Everett Marina on Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Is Port of Everett’s proposed expansion a ‘stealth tax?’ Judge says no

A Snohomish resident lost a battle in court this week protesting what he believes is a misleading measure from the Port of Everett.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.