A Los Angeles County jury on Friday found exact estate heir Robert Durst guilty of killing his shut friend following a drawn-out trial whereby prosecutors painted him as a narcissist who killed and lied to cowl his tracks.
Jurors – 9 women and three males — deliberated for merely over seven hours over three days ahead of saying a verdict, which furthermore included a guilty verdict on a value of mendacity in wait and killing a witness. A sentencing listening to scheduled for Oct. 18.
Durst, 78, who was not all through the courtroom when the selection was be taught consequently of he was uncovered to COVID-19, initially had pleaded not guilty to a first-degree homicide value all through the point-blank capturing of Susan Berman, his confidante and shut friend for a number of years. Prosecutors allege he killed Berman in December 2000 in an effort to silence her ahead of she deliberate to inform authorities how she offered a false alibi when his accomplice, Kathie McCormack Durst, vanished in 1982.
Durst, who was in a wheelchair by approach of the proceedings, testified that he found Berman ineffective on a mattress room flooring when he went to go to her. He denied being in Los Angeles on the time of her loss of life.
Kathie Durst has by no means been found and has been declared legally ineffective. Robert Durst has by no means been charged in her disappearance.
ROBERT DURST MURDER TRIAL LAWYER SAYS PROSECUTORS DEMONIZED ‘SICK, OLD MAN’
Jurors started deliberations Tuesday for 3 hours ahead of recessing for the day. The trial started in March 2020 however was paused for 14 months consequently of of the coronavirus pandemic. It resumed in May.
Friday’s conviction marked a victory for authorities, who sought to attach Durst to a few homicides in three states over a amount of a really very long time.
During his trial, prosecutors offered proof they’re saying proves Durst killed his accomplice of their South Salem, N.Y., dwelling in an effort to supply a motive for the Berman slaying. They furthermore launched proof from a earlier trial whereby Durst was acquitted of fatally capturing a neighbor in Galveston, Texas.
Durst had gone into hiding in Texas to keep away from doable licensed payments in New York when the investigation into the disappearance of his accomplice was reopened. He was residing in a boarding home beneath an alias when he killed Morris Black all by means of a battle for a gun.
He was acquitted of homicide however was convicted of destroying proof for chopping up Black’s physique and tossing it out to sea. Los Angeles prosecutors talked about Black was killed after discovering Durst’s true identification.
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Defense attorneys sought to color Durst as a “sick, old,” defenseless man who was being bullied by prosecutors on the witness stand. During his testimony, Durst admitted mendacity beneath oath and made a amount of damming admissions. He claimed he did not kill his accomplice or Berman however talked about he would lie if he had.
“I just hope when this is over, you let Mr. Durst be in a hospital of his choosing to live out whatever time he has left,” security lawyer David Chesnoff talked about.
Deputy District Attorney John Lewin countered that Durst was solely earlier and feeble consequently of he had been succesful of keep a full life — in distinction to his victims.
“He’s up here, he’s old and he’s sick. He got to live to be old,” he talked about. “Kathie never made it to 30. Susan Berman, his close friend, horribly executed. Morris Black murdered and then dismembered. … He’s lucky to have gotten to live to be 78 to have the health issues he does. Because his victims and their families don’t have that same peace of mind.”
The controversy surrounding Durst was reignited after displaying all through the 2015 HBO documentary “The Jinx.” He talked about he regretted collaborating all through the movie. On the ultimate phrase episode, he was famously caught on a scorching mic saying: “What the hell did I do? Killed them all, of course.”
Durst claimed there was a misunderstanding and that he every spoke too gentle for the mic or didn’t utter what he was pondering.
Fox News’ Stephanie Pagonesand The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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