Oct 14 (Reuters) – A California decide on Thursday sentenced actual property inheritor Robert Durst to life in jail with out the opportunity of parole for murdering his greatest buddy Susan Berman in 2000, in a long-delayed punishment for a person who largely evaded the regulation over 39 years.
Durst, 78 and unwell, appeared dejected and was slumped in his wheelchair throughout the listening to, unshaven and raveled in his Los Angeles County jail uniform.
A way more assured and strong Durst had defiantly jousted with filmmakers in a 2015 documentary collection when he appeared to inadvertently confess to homicide on microphone.
Durst, a multimillionaire whose grandfather based one in all New York Metropolis’s premier actual property corporations, was lengthy a suspect however by no means charged within the disappearance of his spouse Kathleen McCormack, who went lacking in New York in 1982.
Survivors of Berman who spoke on the listening to pleaded with Durst to disclose the place he hid his spouse’s physique, saying it’d grant him an opportunity at some redemption.
“He ought to tell us the place Kathie’s physique is so her household can get some closure,” mentioned David Berman, the sufferer’s cousin.
Susan Berman’s family members expressed some regret on her behalf, as proof from the trial indicated Berman helped present Durst with a false alibi in McCormack’s disappearance. Prosecutors alleged that Durst killed Berman as a result of he feared she would lastly reveal what she knew to authorities.
Final month a jury discovered Durst responsible of taking pictures Berman, 55, at the back of the top in her Beverly Hills house. The jury additionally discovered him responsible of the particular circumstances of mendacity in wait and killing a witness, which carry a compulsory life sentence with out the opportunity of parole.
Superior Court docket Decide Mark Windham, who pronounced the sentence, additionally denied a protection request for a brand new trial, saying there was “overwhelming proof of guilt” that was confirmed many occasions over.
The trial got here six years after Durst’s obvious confession was aired within the HBO tv documentary collection “The Jinx,” wherein Durst, who was nonetheless sporting a reside microphone after an interview, went into a toilet and mentioned to himself, “What the hell did I do? … Killed all of them, after all.”
Durst was solely on trial for killing Berman in California, however prosecutors argued he murdered three individuals: his lacking spouse, Berman and a neighbor in Texas who found his id when Durst was hiding from the regulation. Durst was beforehand acquitted of the Texas case regardless of admitting to dismembering the person’s physique.
The McCormack household has urged prosecutors in Westchester County, New York, to prosecute Durst for her homicide.
Westchester County District Legal professional Mimi Rocah reopened the case in Could, shortly after taking workplace. Her workplace declined to touch upon Thursday.
Reporting by Daniel Trotta; Extra reporting by Dan Whitcomb
Modifying by Jonathan Oatis, Aurora Ellis and Cynthia Osterman
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