Robert Durst Sentenced To Life Behind Bars For 2000 Murder Of Friend

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Robert Durst Sentenced To Life Behind Bars For 2000 Murder Of Friend

Robert Durst, the former New York true estate heir who inspired a dim HBO documentary, was sentenced Thursday to daily life driving bars for the execution-design and style murder of his good friend Susan Berman in 2000.

“I desire you peace going ahead from this,” Los Angeles Excellent Courtroom Choose Mark Windham informed a handful of Berman’s liked ones who ended up assembled in the courtroom.

Durst, 78, was convicted of the murder in September at the conclusion of a trial that took a long time to appear with each other and was delayed by the coronavirus pandemic.

Durst was arrested in New Orleans in 2015, carrying a latex head-to-shoulders mask and carrying $42,000 in money just in advance of the previous episode of “The Jinx” aired on HBO ― attracting international focus to his life and loved ones history. The Durst spouse and children owns and operates some of Manhattan’s most useful industrial actual estate. As the oldest son, Robert had been envisioned to consider more than the relatives business, until finally his volatile character proved unsuitable. His brother Douglas was eventually tapped for the job as a substitute.

Berman was 55 when police uncovered her useless in her California dwelling with a bullet wound to the back of her head. Neighbors had alerted legislation enforcement when Berman’s dogs had been noticed roaming the streets. Law enforcement afterwards been given a notice in the mail directing them to a “cadaver” at Berman’s tackle ― a be aware Durst admitted he’d created.

Berman experienced been a buddy of Durst’s for decades, serving as his spokesperson when his to start with spouse, Kathleen McCormack, disappeared below mysterious instances in 1982.

Previously this yr, Douglas Durst testified about his brother’s violent tendencies all through the demo, expressing that Robert would “like to murder me.”

“There is nearly no emotion that Bob reveals that is genuine,” Douglas stated.

Thomas Durst, the third Durst brother, likewise testified in 2020, prior to the trial was disrupted, that he was terrified of his more mature sibling. Thomas stated he would level Robert’s generosity, on a scale from zero to 100, at “about minus 50, if the scale goes that lower.”

Prosecutors prompt all through the demo that Durst had murdered Berman, a criminal offense author who was acquiring monetary problems, in purchase to stop her from conversing about McCormack, whom Durst is also suspected of killing.

“He’s a narcissistic psychopath. He killed his wife and then he experienced to maintain killing to cover it up,“ Los Angeles Deputy District Lawyer John Lewin stated just after Durst’s conviction very last thirty day period.

Talking just before the judge Thursday, Lewin mentioned, “The proof is extremely clear” that Berman assisted Durst “with covering up the killing of his wife,” but he included: ”I consider it’s pretty vital to comprehend … that Susan Berman did not deal with up what was explained to her as a murder. Susan Berman, really likely [believed] this was some sort of accident.”

Windham repeatedly dubbed the scenario “a witness killing” on Thursday ahead of handing down his sentence. Berman’s loss of life represented a “denial of justice to the McCormack spouse and children,” Windham reported.

The McCormack family members was reportedly offended that they had been not permitted to examine a target impact assertion upon Durst’s sentencing, due to the fact a important aspect of prosecutors’ presentation during the trial was devoted to proving that his relationship experienced been in shambles in the 1980s.

When Berman’s household and mates stood to provide target affect statements to the decide on Thursday, several of them identified as on Durst to inform the McCormack family where to uncover Kathy’s stays so they could look for closure.

McCormack was 29 when she disappeared, and had been married for nearly a ten years. She was just months absent from graduating health care faculty.

The scenario of McCormack’s disappearance and presumed dying was reopened in May. Westchester, New York, District Attorney Mimi Rocah is reportedly in search of to indict Durst in his property point out.

The previous actual estate heir first confronted murder charges just about two decades back, when he was acquitted in the demise of a neighbor despite obtaining admitted to cutting up the man’s physique and dumping it in a waterway.

At his 2003 trial, Durst claimed he was attempting to protect himself during a struggle in excess of a gun that finally killed his mate and neighbor, Morris Black. He mentioned he feared no one particular would imagine him owing to the strange situation of his dwelling arrangement. Durst had been maintaining a lower profile and applying a disguise after Berman’s dying.

As his protection legal professional set it in 2003: “His friend is lifeless, lying on the floor in a $300 apartment rented by a billionaire in Galveston, Texas, who is dressed as a woman. How significantly stranger does it get than that, and who will believe that him?”

Just after staying arrested for Black’s dying and permit out on bail, Durst instantly fled, only to be caught in Pennsylvania for seeking to shoplift a newspaper and a chicken salad sandwich. He had shaved off his hair and eyebrows.

He in the end served just close to a single calendar year in jail for evading his bail.