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Robert Durst sentenced to life for homicide of greatest pal

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

Prosecutors stated Durst silenced Berman to forestall him from pleading responsible in a re-investigation of his spouse’s disappearance in New York in 1982.

Prosecutors stated Berman supplied a pretend excuse for Durst when Kathy Durst went lacking.

Durst testified that he didn’t kill any of the ladies, however stated at cross-examination that he would have lied if he had.

Prosecutors additionally offered proof that he deliberately killed a neighbor in Galveston, Texas, in 2001, though he was acquitted of homicide after testifying to shoot the person in self-defense in that case.

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

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

Durst’s lawyer stated they plan to enchantment.

This can be a breaking information replace. Beneath is an earlier story from AP.

LOS ANGELES (AP) – The bitterly contested homicide trial of Robert Durst spanned the higher a part of two years. His sentence can be comparatively transient and there could possibly be a scarcity of fireworks between the chief prosecutor and the protection counsel.

The eccentric New York actual property inheritor faces a compulsory time period of life in jail with out parole on Thursday for the first-degree homicide of his greatest pal, Susan Berman.

“Now that the jury has discovered the sentence is fairly clear,” stated Loyola Regulation Faculty professor Laurie Levenson. “I am undecided there’s a lot left to say (the prosecutor).”

Durst, 78, was convicted final month in Los Angeles Superior Court docket for the Berman point-blank capturing behind the top at his Los Angeles dwelling simply earlier than Christmas 2000.

Durst, who has a number of medical issues, was taken to the courtroom Thursday in a wheelchair sporting a brown gel scrub. His eyes have been vast open and he had a catatonic stare.

A number of jurors returned to the courtroom to ship the sentence and have been seated within the jury field.

The trial started in March 2020 and was adjourned for 14 months because the coronavirus pandemic engulfed the US and courts have been closed. It resumed in Might with the jury reaching its verdict on 17 September.

Berman, the daughter of a Las Vegas mobster, was Durst’s longtime confidant, who was getting ready to inform police that he supplied a pretend excuse for her after his spouse disappeared in New York in 1982.

Kathy Durst was by no means discovered. Robert Durst was by no means charged with a criminal offense associated to his disappearance.

However following his conviction in Berman’s dying, which depends on proof that he killed his spouse, the New York prosecutor is now set to convey expenses towards him in his dying, an individual accustomed to the matter stated, who didn’t want to be named. informed the Related Press on situation.

Durst testified within the L.A. case, denying that he killed his spouse or Berman, however stated he would have lied if he had finished so.

Cathy McCormack Durst’s household was anticipated to current an announcement in courtroom Thursday about her loss, however prosecutors denied the request, in keeping with an e-mail despatched to her lawyer.

Legal professional Robert Abrams stated the McCormack household was upset, and he was outraged. He stated the relations wouldn’t take part within the sentencing.

“The household isn’t going to journey 3,000 miles to be a prop in some Hollywood manufacturing and never be capable to sit there and make statements affecting their sufferer,” Abrams stated. “It is not a movie the place it is gross spectacle. That is their life, they usually’ve been struggling for 40 years.”

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

Levenson stated it was questionable whether or not Cathy Durst was a sufferer within the Los Angeles case as a result of Robert Durst was not charged together with her homicide. Permitting your siblings to talk when sentencing would create one other level for enchantment.

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

Choose Mark Windham rejected the movement, saying the prosecution had overwhelming proof and proved Durst’s guilt past an affordable doubt in no less than 5 methods, together with Durst’s a number of confessions. He rejected all arguments that he had delivered the mistaken verdict.

“You stated that the courtroom made a mistake a number of occasions, which made me really feel self-conscious,” Windham stated.

The movement was primarily to protect the problems for enchantment and the potential for failing, Levenson stated, though a few of his arguments might get the eye of the Excessive Court docket.

The protection stated Windham ought to have been discovered mistaken when the jury was despatched dwelling and the case was adjourned. He stated the delay interval was unprecedented.

A number of different points revolve round admitting proof, equivalent to permitting prosecutors to testify that Durst killed a neighbor in Galveston, Texas in 2001 by dismembering his physique and dumping the elements into the ocean. Gave. Durst was acquitted of homicide after testifying that Morris Black drew a gun at him and was killed in a battle for the weapon.

He additionally objected to testimony and demonstrations, which confirmed that when Durst was arrested in New Orleans in 2015, he had a masks, pretend identification, medication, $40,000 and a loaded handgun in his lodge room. Was.

He additionally objected to jurors exhibiting “All Good Issues”, a characteristic movie based mostly on Durst’s life, and that includes Ryan Gosling as him and Kirsten Dunst as Kathy Durst.

He incorrectly acknowledged that the jurors have been proven the six-part documentary, “The Jinx: The Life and Crimes of Robert Durst”, though excerpts have been proven to the jurors, together with an element that was criticized by many. taken as a confession.

A second out of digicam however with a dwell microphone, Durst murmured, “Completely killed all of them.”

To restrict the variety of appellate points, prosecutors may be extra restrained of their sentence presentation, Levenson stated, particularly when jail phrases are already set.

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

Levine, who was aggressive and infrequently ended up with protection lawyer Dick DeGuerin within the six years from arrest to conviction, initially stated he had nothing to say to the individual he had been coping with for years. was following.

He then referred to as Durst a “narcissistic psychopath” who “killed his spouse and … needed to preserve killing to cowl it up.”

“He is 78. He is been strolling round for a very long time,” Levine stated. “She had an excessive amount of life, you understand, Cathy did not make 30. On stability, taking a look at what she’s finished, she received much more life than she deserved.”


Related Press writers Christopher Weber in Los Angeles and Michael R. Sisak contributed to this report.


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