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Witness Says Producer Robert Evans Paid for Murder

June 20, 1989

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ The key witness in the ″Cotton Club″ murder case testified Tuesday that a defendant told him movie producer Robert Evans and a reputed drug dealer paid to have a theatrical producer killed.

William Rider, former security chief for Hustler magazine publisher Larry Flynt, said defendant William Molony Mentzer talked about the murder of producer Roy Radin when Mentzer was working for Rider as part of Flynt’s private militia.

Mentzer admitted he was involved in the killing, along with Alex Lamota Marti, Rider said at a preliminary hearing of murder charges against the two men and a third suspect, Karen DeLayne Greenberger.

″Did Mr. Mentzer indicate to you that anyone else was involved in the killing of Mr. Radin?″ asked Deputy District Attorney David Conn.

″Yes,″ said Rider.

Conn repeated the question and Rider responded, ″Mrs. Greenberger and Robert Evans.″

″Did he say what their involvement was?″ asked Conn.

″Yes, essentially that they paid for the contract,″ Rider said.

Asked if he knew why Evans and Mrs. Greenberger, a reputed drug dealer, would have wanted Radin killed, Rider said he heard two different reasons from Mentzer.

″One variation was that Mr. Radin was killed because of the stealing of Mrs. Greenberger’s drugs,″ Rider said, ″and the other version was Mr. Radin tried to shut Mrs. Greenberger out of the movie deal.″

He was referring to the film, ″The Cotton Club,″ which was being financed in a deal between Radin and Evans when the producer disappeared in May 1983.

Evans, the former chief of production at Paramount Pictures, is co- producing ″The Two Jakes,″ directed by and starring Jack Nicholson in the sequel to ″Chinatown.″

He was called as the first witness in the hearing, but declined to testify on grounds that his answers might tend to incriminate him. His lawyer has said he had no involvement with the killing.

Radin, of Long Island, N.Y., was last seen with Mrs. Greenberger heading for a dinner appointment to discuss her requested share of profits from ″The Cotton Club,″ a movie about a famous Harlem night spot.

A month later, Radin’s body was found in a dry river bed 65 miles north of Los Angeles. He had been shot repeatedly in the head.

Rider reiterated Tuesday that Mentzer said he and Marti were the killers.

″Mr. Mentzer said that Mr. Marti went crazy and started shooting Radin and he (Mentzer) followed suit,″ Rider said.

The preliminary hearing is to determine if there is sufficient evidence for those charged to stand trial. A fourth person charged, Robert Ulmer Lowe, has fought extradition in Maryland but is expected to be returned here soon.