Robert Durst, the New York actual property inheritor, was sentenced to life in jail in a Los Angeles County courtroom Thursday for the 2000 murder of his longtime friend Susan Berman following a prolonged, drawn-out authorized saga.
Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Mark Windham additionally denied a protection request for a brand new trial. They mentioned they plan to attraction.
Durst, 78, slouched in a wheelchair and wearing a brown jail jumpsuit, was convicted final month of first-degree murder for taking pictures Berman point-blank in her Los Angeles-area house simply earlier than Christmas. Prosecutors alleged he killed her in an effort to silence her, as she was slated to speak to authorities about how she supplied a phony alibi for Durst after his first spouse vanished in 1982.
Kathie Durst went lacking from the couple’s South Salem, N.Y., house and has been declared useless, although her physique has by no means been discovered. Durst has by no means been charged in her disappearance.
Several of the jurors who convicted Durst had been current within the courtroom when the sentence was handed down. Durst declined to offer an allocution assertion.
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Several of Berman’s family members gave influence statements throughout Thursday’s proceedings. Sareb Kaufman, who was raised by Berman and regarded her his mom, mentioned her loss of life modified his life.
Susan Berman’s cousin, Denny Marcus, advised the decide: “I was robbed and my beautiful son was robbed of an absolutely extraordinary, unforgettable brilliant person whose life was savagely taken from her.”
“I will never hate Bobby because she loved him,” she added.
On the witness stand, a frail-looking Durst claimed he discovered Berman useless in her house however denied being there on the time of her loss of life. Under cross-examination, he testified that he would lie if he had killed her.
During his trial, prosecutors introduced proof they are saying proves Durst killed his spouse of their house in an effort to supply a motive for the Berman slaying. They additionally launched proof from a earlier trial by which Durst was acquitted of fatally taking pictures a neighbor in Galveston, Texas.
Durst was in hiding in Texas to keep away from potential felony prices after investigators reopened the case of his lacking spouse, prosecutors mentioned. He was residing in a boarding home beneath an alias when he killed Morris Black.
He was later acquitted of the slaying however convicted of destroying proof for chopping up Black’s physique and tossing it out at sea. Prosecutors mentioned Black was killed after he found Durst’s true id.
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His well being has declined lately and Durst was certain to a wheelchair throughout his trial. When the decision was introduced, he was not in court docket as a result of he was being quarantined after presumably being uncovered to COVID-19.
The trial start in March 2020 however was paused as a result of of the pandemic and resumed in May.
The sentencing got here years after Durst participated within the 2015 HBO documentary “The Jinx: The Life and Crimes of Robert Durst.” In the ultimate episode, Durst was overhead on a scorching mic saying: “What the hell did I do? Killed them all, of course.”
He later claimed there was a misunderstanding and that he both spoke too tender for the mic or it didn’t utter what he was pondering. Westchester County, New York prosecutors plan to impanel a grand jury within the coming weeks to listen to proof in opposition to Durst within the disappearance of Kathie Durst.
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