For the murder of his best friend, a US tycoon is sentenced to life in prison.
Scion of the real estate industry in the United States For the murder of his best friend, Robert Durst was sentenced to life in jail without the possibility of release on Thursday.
Durst, a multi-millionaire who was featured in HBO’s “The Jinx,” has consistently disputed allegations that he shot his friend Susan Berman in the back of the head in her Beverly Hills home in 2000 to prevent her from speaking to authorities about his wife’s disappearance two decades earlier.
However, a jury in Los Angeles found the 78-year-old guilty of Berman’s execution-style murder last month after only eight hours of deliberation.
Before handing down the life sentence, Judge Mark Windham stated, “This crime was a witness killing.” “This horrific, distressing crime was greatly enhanced by that circumstance.” “There is ample, in fact, overwhelming evidence of guilt,” Windham said, rejecting the defense’s plea for a new trial. The court also heard from Sareb Kaufman, Berman’s son, who expressed his want to know what his life would have been like if Durst hadn’t murdered his mother.
Kaufman, who was crying, stated, “Every plan was absolutely swept away.” “You assassinated me as well, the person I was.” Durst sat still in his wheelchair during the court hearing on Thursday.
Prosecutors claim he killed crime writer Berman to keep her from being questioned by New York cops about his wife Kathleen’s disappearance.
After Durst became a suspect in the wife’s disappearance, Berman, the daughter of a Las Vegas gangster, posed as a publicist for him.
Durst was never charged in his wife’s case, despite being an estranged member of one of New York’s wealthiest and most powerful real estate dynasties.
He was detained in a New Orleans hotel room in March 2015 in connection with Berman’s death, just hours before the HBO documentary “The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst” aired its final episode.
Durst is heard muttering to himself in the episode’s stunning finale, “There it is, you’re caught” and “Of course, I killed them all,” apparently unaware that a microphone he was wearing during the recording of that episode remained switched on while he went to the restroom during a break in the session.
Berman’s relatives pressed him to reveal the location of his wife’s body during Thursday’s hearings.
The docuseries also looked at the death of Morris Black, Durst’s Texas neighbor, who was found dismembered in 2001.
Durst admitted to dismemberment but claimed it was in self-defense. He was found not guilty.
Despite his repeated denials of any participation in Berman’s death, The Washington Newsday Brief News is a daily newspaper published in Washington, D.C.