Department of Corrections and Community Supervision

New York State
Department of Correctional Services
Glenn S. Goord, Commissioner

Office of Public Information
[518] 457-8182

For immediate release:

Tuesday, June 19, 2001

New York extradites Sante Kimes to California; with son, faces murder charge and death penalty

In accordance with an executive agreement between Governor George E. Pataki and Governor Gray Davis, New York inmate Sante Kimes - already serving a life sentence here for murder - is now in Los Angeles to face murder charges that could subject her to the California death penalty.

The governors extradited her son Kenneth, convicted in the same New York murder as his mother, on March 20 to face the same California charges and a potential death sentence.

"These murderers must be held accountable for each and every one of their vile acts," Governor Pataki said in October, as he announced the signing of the executive agreement that set in motion extradition hearings against both killers.

Los Angeles detectives Tuesday took custody of Sante at 10:10 a.m. (E.D.T.) at the maximum-security Bedford Hills Correctional Facility in Westchester County. They accompanied her by plane to California. Announcement of her extradition was withheld for security reasons until she reached a cell in Los Angeles at 9:29 p.m. (E.D.T.)

No further details on her transfer will be released for security reasons.

Governors Pataki and Davis signed an agreement on August 11, 2000, for the extradition of Sante, 66, and her son Kenneth, 26, to Los Angeles where they face the capital crime of murder "with special allegations." On June 13, a Westchester County judge ordered Sante extradited, just as a Clinton County judge had on March 13 ordered Kenneth extradited to California from his cell in the maximum-security Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora.

The agreement signed by the two governors states that, if a death penalty is imposed, the defendant(s) will remain in California for imposition of that sentence. Any lesser result requires that California incur the costs, upon New York's request, of returning the defendant(s) to serve the unexpired New York sentence(s).

Sante was sentenced on June 27, 2000, in New York County to a term of 120 years to life for the July 5, 1998, murder of, and other crimes against, a Manhattan socialite whose body has not yet been found. Sante entered Bedford Hills on July 12, 2000, and is eligible for parole on March 3, 2119. Kenneth was sentenced on the same date to a term of 125 years to life for his part in the same crimes. He was received into the prison system on July 11, 2000. He is eligible for parole on October 4, 2123.

Kenneth took independent TV producer Maria Zone hostage on October 10, 2000, while she was interviewing him at Clinton for a Court TV story. Just over four hours later, staff subdued him. Ms. Zone was freed with only minor injuries. He was given eight years confinement in the disciplinary housing unit for that assault. He told prison officials that he took Ms. Zone hostage in hopes of exchanging her for a promise from Governor Pataki that he would deny Governor Davis' request for his mother's extradition.