October 15, 2021

Robert Durst sentenced to life in prison for murder of Susan Berman

LOS ANGELES, California — New York actual property inheritor Robert Durst was sentenced Thursday to life in prison with out likelihood of parole for the murder of his finest pal extra that twenty years in the past.

Durst, 78, was convicted in Los Angeles Superior Courtroom final month of first-degree murder for capturing Susan Berman point-blank in the again of the top at her dwelling in December 2000.

The sentencing got here after Berman’s members of the family addressed the court docket describing her as a heat one who’s been deeply missed.

“It has been a daily, soul consuming and crushing experience,” Sareb Kaufman stated of her murder. Kaufman’s father was Susan Berman’s boyfriend and he thought-about himself her son.

Durst silenced Berman to forestall her from incriminating him in the reopened investigation of his spouse’s 1982 disappearance in New York, prosecutors stated.

Berman supplied a phony alibi for Durst when Kathie Durst vanished, prosecutors stated.

Durst testified that he did not kill both lady, however stated on cross-examination that he would lie if he had.

Durst protection group makes dangerous transfer of placing consumer on the stand

Prosecutors additionally introduced proof that he deliberately killed a neighbor in Galveston, Texas, in 2001, although he had been acquitted of murder in that case after testifying that he shot the person in self-defense.

Robert Durst: A timeline of his life and alleged crimes

Durst is the grandson of Joseph Durst, who based the Durst Group, one of Manhattan’s largest industrial actual property corporations. His father, Seymour, took the reins of the corporate and later handed management of it to a youthful brother, Douglas.

Robert Durst settled his share of the household fortune and was estimated by prosecutors to have $100 million.

PHOTOS: Inside take a look at one of Robert Durst’s condos

Durst’s lawyer, Dick DeGuerin, stated they plan to attraction.

Durst, who has quite a few medical points, on Thursday was rolled into the courtroom in a wheelchair carrying brown jail scrubs. His eyes have been large open and he had a catatonic stare.

A number of of the jurors returned to the courtroom to witness the sentencing and have been seated in the jury field.

The trial started in March 2020 and was adjourned for 14 months because the coronavirus pandemic swept the U.S. and courts have been closed. It resumed in Might with the jury that reached its verdict Sept. 17.

Berman, the daughter of a Las Vegas mobster, was Durst’s longtime confidante who was getting ready to inform police she supplied a phony alibi for him after his spouse vanished in New York in 1982.

Kathie Durst has by no means been discovered. Robert Durst has by no means been charged with against the law associated to her disappearance.

However following his conviction in Berman’s demise, which relied on proof that he killed his spouse, a New York prosecutor is ready now to search fees in opposition to him in her demise, an individual aware of the matter informed The Related Press on situation of anonymity.

Durst testified in the LA case, denying he killed his spouse or Berman, however he stated he’d lie if he had executed so.

Kathie McCormack Durst’s household had hoped to current statements to the court docket Thursday about their loss, however prosecutors denied the request, in accordance to emails despatched to their lawyer.

Legal professional Robert Abrams stated the McCormack household was upset, and he was outraged. He stated members of the family wouldn’t attend the sentencing.

“The family is not going to go travel 3,000 miles to be a prop in some Hollywood production and sit there and not be able to make their victim impact statements,” Abrams stated. “This is not some movie where it’s gross spectacle. This is their lives, and they’ve suffered for 40 years.”

A spokesman for the district legal professional’s workplace didn’t return a message looking for remark.

Loyola Regulation College Professor Laurie Levenson stated it was questionable whether or not Kathie Durst was a sufferer in the Los Angeles case as a result of Robert Durst wasn’t charged together with her killing. Permitting her siblings to converse at sentencing would create one other problem for an attraction.

Protection legal professionals argued in court docket papers that Durst deserved a brand new trial, saying there was inadequate proof to show the case and itemizing 15 methods the decide erred.

Choose Mark Windham rejected the movement and stated the prosecution had overwhelming proof and proved Durst’s guilt past an inexpensive doubt in a minimum of 5 methods, together with a number of admissions Durst made. He rejected all of the arguments that he had dominated incorrectly.

“You said the court erred so many times it made me feel self-conscious,” Windham stated.

The movement was primarily to protect points for attraction and certain to fail, Levenson stated, although some of their arguments may get the next court docket’s consideration.

The protection stated Windham ought to have declared a mistrial when the jury was despatched dwelling and the case adjourned. They stated the size of the delay was unprecedented.

Many of the opposite points revolve round admission of proof, resembling permitting prosecutors to current testimony that Durst killed a neighbor in Galveston, Texas, in 2001 and chopped up his physique and tossed the elements out to sea. Durst was acquitted of murder after testifying that Morris Black pulled a gun on him and was killed in a battle for the weapon.

In addition they objected to testimony and displays that confirmed when Durst was arrested in New Orleans in 2015, he had a masks, pretend identification, medicine, $40,000 and a loaded handgun in his lodge room.

In addition they objected to displaying jurors a function movie, “All Good Things” primarily based on Durst’s life and starring Ryan Gosling as him and Kirsten Dunst as Kathie Durst.

They incorrectly stated jurors have been proven the six-part documentary, “The Jinx: The Life and Crimes of Robert Durst,” although jurors have been proven excerpts, together with a portion that many took as a confession.

In a second off digital camera however with a stay microphone, Durst muttered, “Killed them all, of course.”

Deputy District Legal professional John Lewin was requested by a reporter after the conviction what he had to say to Durst.

Lewin, who was aggressive and regularly scrapped with protection lawyer Dick DeGuerin over the six years it took from arrest to conviction, initially stated he did not have something to say to the person he had pursued for years.

Then he known as Durst a “narcissistic psychopath” who “killed his wife and … had to keep killing to cover it up.”

“He’s 78 years old. He’s been walking around for a long time,” Lewin stated. “He had a lot more of a life, you know, Kathie didn’t make 30. On balance, considering what he’s done, he got a lot more of a life than he was entitled to.”