Former Carson woman and son sentenced to life in prison for murder

NEW YORK - A former Carson City woman and her son were sentenced Tuesday to more than 120 years to life in prison for the murder of an 82-year-old millionaire widow whose body was never found.

Sante Kimes, 65, and Kenneth Kimes, 25, of Las Vegas, were convicted May 18 on some 60 counts, including the murder of Irene Silverman, 82.

Kimes was known as Sandy Chambers when she graduated from Carson High School in 1952. She and her family lived in a home at the corner of Division and Long streets, having moved to Carson from Los Angeles in 1947.

Prosecutors said the Kimeses killed Silverman, a former Radio City Music Hall dancer and widow of a real estate millionaire, as part of a scheme to steal her $7 million six-story home.

The Kimeses, who rented an apartment in the Manhattan mansion, were arrested on July 5, 1998, the last day Silverman was seen alive, on unrelated charges involving an allegedly stolen car.

Assistant District Attorney John Carter said that at some point that morning, Kenneth Kimes pulled Silverman into his apartment and strangled her.

The prosecutor said the Kimeses ''packaged'' Silverman in garbage bags, put her in the trunk of their car and disposed of her body in a place only they know.

Mrs. Kimes insisted that she and her son were innocent.

''There is no crime,'' she said, turning several times to face the courtroom audience. ''No one knows where that woman is.''

The judge sentenced Mrs. Kimes to a minimum of 120 years and four months in prison, and her son to 125 years and eight months. The judge indicated that they would likely never be paroled.

The Los Angeles District Attorney's Office will begin extradition proceedings to bring the Kimeses to California to stand trial for murder this week, a spokeswoman said. The Kimeses have been indicted in the 1998 murder of a business associate.


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