Robert Durst’s Murder Trial Jury to Begin Deliberations: What He Is Charged With
The jury in the case of millionaire real estate heir Robert Durst, who has been accused of multiple violent crimes but is now charged with the murder of his best friend, is due to begin deliberations on Tuesday.
Durst, 78, gained notoriety as the subject of The Jinx, a 2015 HBO true-crime docu-series in which he purportedly confessed to murdering his wife and others, though this has been challenged. His current first-degree murder allegation stems from the shooting death of his best friend, Susan Berman, 55, in her Beverly Hills home in 2000, with a bullet to the back of her head.
“It was her or me, I had no choice,” Durst told a key witness, Nick Chavin, who was a friend of both Durst and Berman.
Prosecutor Habib Balian told jurors, “Those nine words sum up the entire case.”
Prosecutors claimed Durst shot Berman to keep her from incriminating him in the 1982 disappearance of his first wife, Kathleen Durst. They claim that after Durst confessed to killing Kathleen to Berman, she assisted him in concealing the crime, and that Durst didn’t want Berman to tell the cops what she knew. Durst is also accused of killing a witness and laying in wait under specific circumstances.
According to court documents and CNN reporting, chief prosecutor John Lewin asked Durst on the stand, “Did you kill Susan Berman?”
Durst replied, “No.”
“But if you had, wouldn’t you lie about it?” Lewin enquired.
Durst replied, “Correct,” acknowledging that he would be willing to lie in court.
Durst’s defenders, Dick DeGuerin and David Chesnoff, contended in court that the prosecution’ premise had not been established or supported by evidence. Durst has never been convicted of murdering his first wife, and no body has ever been discovered.
Durst denied killing both Berman and Kathleen Durst on the stand. Jurors, on the other hand, had the extraordinary experience of witnessing video of Durst ostensibly confessing to the killings.
Following filmed interviews, the filmmakers of The Jinx famously caught Durst implicating himself on a hot mic, speaking out loud to himself in the bathroom:
“There you have it. He said, “You’ve been caught.” “He was correct. I was mistaken…. What was I thinking? Of course, I killed them all.”
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