American court says murderer's 'lone voice' is worthless while awarding guardianship of three children to sister of slain banker An American judge who had sought Nancy Kissel's view on the future of her children has declared the convicted murderer's opinion worthless and ordered the two girls and a boy be moved from the custody of one aunt to another. Overruling a strong written plea from Kissel for the children to stay with Hayley Kissel, estranged wife of the brother of slain banker Robert Kissel, Surrogate Judge Eve Preminger awarded guardianship to Jane Clayton, the banker's sister. The New York judge said Nancy Kissel - serving life in jail for killing her husband - was the 'lone voice' opposing the move and 'would seem to have forfeited my belief in her good judgment based on the actions she was convicted of'. After the ruling, a tearful Mrs Clayton said she was 'thrilled with the result', which was in tune with a request in Robert Kissel's will that his sister be made guardian and custodian of the children. Apart from Nancy Kissel, all parties to the protracted battle for custody of the children - heirs to their father's estimated US$15-$18 million fortune - had agreed they should be cared for by Mrs Clayton. Hayley Kissel, who had temporary custody and had been fighting to keep the children, agreed to act according to whatever was deemed to be in their best interests. The judge had earlier adjourned the case for two weeks, urging the parties to sort out their differences and asking for Nancy Kissel to be consulted. In her letter to the court yesterday the woman convicted of drugging her husband, then bludgeoning him to death with a heavy ornament in their Parkview flat, pleaded for the children to be spared the pain of another move. 'The fact of the matter is my children are not in harm's way emotionally or physically right now,' she wrote. 'Children understand love. They don't understand change. Loving families don't turn on each other. They support one another.' Calling the assembled lawyers into her chambers for a 35-minute consultation, Judge Preminger announced that Mrs Clayton was the only one now seeking custody and guardianship and so should be named guardian in the best interests of the children. Mrs Clayton will oversee the financial interests, property holdings and legal matters of the three children: Elaine, 11, June, eight, and Reis, five. However, she will not be able to take physical custody of the children immediately. Background checks are needed first, after which a ruling will be made. A hearing is scheduled for November 2. Michael Collesano, a court-appointed lawyer looking after the children's interests, said: 'We are very pleased with the results, which, in my opinion, are in the children's best interests.' Mr Collesano had urged that Mrs Clayton be made guardian, citing the potentially damaging environment in Hayley Kissel's once prosperous household, where husband Andrew has been indicted on multimillion-dollar theft charges and she has sought a divorce. It will be the third move for the children since their father was murdered in November 2003. They first stayed with their maternal grandfather in Illinois, before Andrew and Hayley Kissel were awarded temporary custody. Since then, Mr Kissel has been indicted on grand larceny charges claiming that he stole US$3.9 million from the Upper East Side co-operative apartment building where he was treasurer for six years and is under house arrest. Neither Mrs Clayton nor her lawyer would comment on how the delicate task of telling the children about the latest upheaval in their lives would be handled.