Former isle resident
admits to L.A. murder

Kenneth Kimes agrees to testify
against his mother in the '98 case

LOS ANGELES >> Kenneth Kimes, part of a mother-son team convicted of killing a wealthy New York socialite, pleaded guilty yesterday to the murder of a Los Angeles businessman. Prosecutors said he also agreed to testify against his 64-year-old mother.

The surprise plea came in a brief court session at which Kenneth Kimes calmly admitted murdering David Kazdin, 63, whose body was found in a trash bin near Los Angeles International Airport.

Kazdin's family was in the courtroom as the plea was announced.

"We're happy to know he will be in jail for life," Linda Kazdin, 37, said outside court.

By entering into the plea, Kimes, 28, escapes a possible death penalty and will receive a sentence of life in prison without parole. He won't be sentenced until his mother, Sante Kimes, is tried in the murder of Kazdin.

Deputy District Attorney Eleanor Hunter said Kenneth Kimes was interviewed by prosecutors for three days last August but the transcript of his interview will be sealed.

She said he admitted going to Kazdin's home on March 13, 1998. According to a plan hatched with his mother, Kimes went inside and shot the man, the prosecutor said.

"Did you shoot the victim?" Hunter asked Kimes yesterday in court.

"Yes," Kimes said calmly. He also admitted disposing of the body later in order to conceal a fraud committed on the businessman.

Sante Kimes and her son, both former Hawaii residents, were convicted in 2000 in New York for murdering Irene Silverman, an 82-year-old widow whose body has never been found, and conspiring to steal her $7 million Manhattan town house and other possessions.

Mrs. Kimes was sentenced to 120 years in prison, while her son received a 125-year prison sentence.

A Los Angeles County grand jury indicted Sante and Kenneth Kimes in May 2002 on charges of murdering Kazdin. At the time, both pleaded innocent to one count each of murder, along with the special circumstances of murder for financial gain and murder of a witness.

Prosecutors believe the Kimes killed Kazdin after he learned they had forged his name to obtain a $200,000 loan.


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