Los Angeles (AP) — Robert Durst’s fierce murder trial lasted most of the two years. His ruling is relatively concise, and there may be a shortage of fireworks erupting between the chief prosecutor and the defense lawyer.
An eccentric New York real estate heir faces life imprisonment without parole for the first-class murder of his best friend Susan Berman.
“The punishment is very clear because the jury found Whodunit,” said Professor Laurie Levenson of Loyola Law School. “I don’t know if (the prosecutor) has much more to say.”
Dust, 78, was convicted last month in the Los Angeles High Court for shooting a close range of Berman at his home in Los Angeles shortly before Christmas 2000.
The trial began in March 2020 and was postponed for 14 months as a coronavirus pandemic struck the United States and the courts were closed. The jury reopened in May after a verdict on September 17.
Berman, the daughter of a Las Vegas gang, was Darst’s longtime best friend preparing to tell police that she had offered him a fake alibi after his wife disappeared in New York in 1982. ..
Cathy Dust has never been discovered. Robert Durst has never been charged with a crime related to her disappearance.
However, following his conviction for Berman’s death, which relied on evidence that he had killed his wife, New York prosecutors are ready to seek accusations against him for her death, familiar with the matter. The person told the Associated Press on condition of anonymity.
Dust testified in the LA case, denying that he had killed his wife or Berman, but said he would lie if he did.
Kathy McCormack Durst’s family wanted to issue a statement to the court on Thursday about their loss, but prosecutors rejected the request, according to an email sent to their lawyer.
Attorney Robert Abrams said the McCormacks were disappointed and indignant. He said his family would not attend the decision.
“Families can’t travel 3,000 miles to become props for some Hollywood pieces, sit there, and make statements that affect victims,” Abrams said. Their lives, and they have been suffering for 40 years. “
A district attorney spokesman did not return a message asking for comment.
Levenson said it was doubtful that Kathy Durst was the victim of the Los Angeles case, as Robert Durst was not charged with her murder. Allowing her brother to speak in the judgment would create another issue for the complaint.
The defense lawyer will file a new trial on Thursday, citing 15 ways the judge made a mistake, with insufficient evidence to prove the case.
According to Levenson, the motion is primarily to save the matter for appeal and is likely to fail, but some of their allegations could draw the attention of the High Court. I have.
The defense said Judge Mark Wyndham should have declared suspicious when the jury returned home and the case was postponed. They said the length of the delay was unprecedented.
Many other issues include approval of evidence, including allowing prosecutors to provide testimony that Durst killed a neighbor in Galveston, Texas in 2001, chopping his body and throwing parts into the sea. It revolves around. Dust was acquitted of the murder after Morris Black pulled a gun at him and testified that he had been killed in a struggle for weapons.
They also show that when Durst was arrested in New Orleans in 2015, he had a mask, fake ID, drugs, $ 40,000 in cash, and a loaded pistol in his hotel room. I opposed the testimony and the exhibition.
They also opposed showing the jury a feature film based on Durst’s life and a six-part documentary, Jinx: Robert Durst’s Life and Crime.
According to Levenson, prosecutors may be more restricted in presenting their decisions to limit the number of appeals, especially if a sentence has already been set.
Deputy District Attorney John Lewin was asked by a reporter what he had to say to Dust after being convicted.
During the six years from his arrest to his conviction, active and defendant lawyer Dick DeGuerin and frequently dismissed Lewin initially said he had nothing to say to the man he had pursued for years.
He then called Dust a “self-euphoric psychopath” and “had to kill his wife and keep killing him to hide it.”
“He’s 78 years old. He’s been walking around for a long time,” Lewin said. He was qualified. “
New York Associated Press writer Michael R. Sisak contributed to this report.
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Dust celebrates the day of counting with the murder of his best friend | Nationwide
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