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Witness Incriminates Movie Producer Robert Evans in Radin Killing

June 21, 1989

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ A witness testified he was told that movie producer Robert Evans and a drug dealer paid for the ″Cotton Club″ murder. Evans’ lawyer called the accusation an ″outrageous lie.″

Evans, producer of such films as ″Chinatown″ and ″Marathon Man,″ has not been charged in the case.

William Rider, former security chief for Hustler magazine publisher Larry Flynt, testified Tuesday that defendant William Molony Mentzer told him about the 1983 slaying of New York theatrical producer Roy Radin, who had been working with Evans to finance the film ″The Cotton Club.″

Mentzer admitted he was one of the killers and named Alex Lamota Marti as another, Rider testified at a preliminary hearing on murder charges against Mentzer, Marti and a third defendant, 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, adding after prodding from Conn, ″Mrs. Greenberger and Robert Evans.″

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

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

Rider said Mentzer had mentioned two reasons why Evans, the former chief of production at Paramount Pictures, and Mrs. Greenberger, a reputed drug dealer, would have wanted Radin killed.

″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 cut Mrs. Greenberger out of the movie deal.″

″The Cotton Club″ was being financed in a deal between Radin and Evans when Radin disappeared. His body was found a month later in a dry river bed. He had been shot repeatedly in the head.

″Anybody who makes a statement that Evans is involved in this case is telling an outrageous lie. It’s absolutely untrue,″ said Evans’ attorney, Robert Shapiro. ″If the state believed it was true, he’d be a defendant, not a witness.″

Evans was called as a witness but declined to testify on grounds his answers might tend to incriminate him.

The hearing before Municipal Judge Patti Jo McKay is to determine whether there is sufficient evidence for those charged to stand trial.

Radin, an obese, cocaine-sniffing impresario from New York’s Long Island, appeared on his way to Hollywood success in 1983, raising $35 million to finance ″The Cotton Club,″ a movie about a famous Harlem nightspot.

He was killed before the deal was completed, and others, including Evans, ultimately produced the film.

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