Durst, 78, was convicted in Los Angeles Superior Courtroom final month of first-degree homicide for capturing Susan Berman point-blank behind the top at her house in December 2000.
The killing had been a thriller that haunted household and pals for 15 years earlier than Durst was arrested in 2015 following his ill-considered resolution to take part in a documentary that unearthed new proof and caught him in a surprising confession.
Berman’s demise left a everlasting gap within the lives of members of the family who remembered her Thursday for her adventurousness, her creativity, and her deep and constant love.
“It has been a day by day, soul consuming and crushing expertise,” mentioned Sareb Kaufman, who thought of Berman his mom after his father dated her. “I’ve misplaced every little thing many instances over due to him.”
Durst, who has quite a few medical points and sat in a wheelchair carrying brown jail scrubs, mentioned nothing. His eyes have been extensive open and he had a catatonic stare when he entered the courtroom and barely regarded over at Kaufman and three of Berman’s cousins once they spoke.
Durst silenced Berman to stop her from incriminating him within the reopened investigation of his spouse’s 1982 disappearance in New York, prosecutors mentioned.
Berman offered a phony alibi for Durst when Kathie Durst vanished, prosecutors mentioned.
Durst testified that he didn’t kill both girl, however mentioned on cross-examination that he would lie if he had.
Prosecutors additionally offered proof that he deliberately killed a neighbor in Galveston, Texas, in 2001, although he had been acquitted of homicide in that case after testifying that he shot the person in self-defense.
Durst’s lawyer, Dick DeGuerin, mentioned they plan to enchantment and kept away from making different remarks throughout sentencing.
Decide Mark Windham denied a movement for a brand new trial, rejecting arguments there was inadequate proof or that he had erred 15 alternative ways in prior rulings.
“You mentioned the court docket erred so many instances it made me really feel self-conscious,” Windham joked.
He mentioned prosecutors had overwhelming proof that proved Durst’s guilt past an affordable doubt at the least 5 methods, together with a devastating cross-examination of Durst on the witness stand and an admission Durst made within the climax of the six-part documentary, “The Jinx: The Life and Crimes of Robert Durst.”
After being caught in a lie a few be aware he penned directing police to Berman’s “cadaver,” Durst went into a rest room and muttered to himself on a stay microphone, “Killed all of them, in fact.”
Durst testified that he regretted collaborating within the documentary.
The trial started in March 2020 and was adjourned for 14 months because the coronavirus pandemic swept the U.S. and courts have been closed. It resumed in Could with the jury that reached its verdict Sept. 17.
Seven of the jurors returned to court docket to witness the sentencing and have been seated within the jury field.
Berman, the daughter of a Las Vegas mobster and a author, was Durst’s longtime confidante. She advised pals and Durst she was making ready to talk with police about his spouse’s disappearance shortly earlier than she was killed.
Kathie Durst has by no means been discovered. Robert Durst has by no means been charged with a criminal offense associated to her disappearance.
However following his conviction in Berman’s demise, which relied on proof that he killed his spouse, a New York prosecutor is ready now to hunt prices towards him in her demise, an individual accustomed to the matter — however who was not licensed to talk publicly about an ongoing investigation and did so on situation of anonymity — advised The Related Press.
Kathie McCormack Durst’s household had hoped to current statements to the court docket Thursday about their loss, however prosecutors denied the request, in accordance with emails despatched to their lawyer.
Lawyer Robert Abrams, who confirmed up on the listening to. mentioned the McCormack household was disenchanted, and he was outraged.
“The household isn’t going to go journey 3,000 miles to be a prop in some Hollywood manufacturing and sit there and never have the ability to make their sufferer affect statements,” Abrams mentioned. “This isn’t some film the place it’s gross spectacle. That is their lives, and so they’ve suffered for 40 years.”
Deputy District Lawyer John Lewin, Kaufman and others pleaded with Durst now that he is unlikely to be freed to inform the McCormack household the place she was buried.
“I hope in your remaining days and hours you’ll … give the McCormacks what little they’re asking for: to seek out Kathie, to put her to relaxation appropriately, lastly and in the end,” Kaufman mentioned. “That is crucial query that also haunts us.”
Durst is the grandson of Joseph Durst, who based the Durst Group, one in all Manhattan’s largest business actual property companies. His father, Seymour, took the reins of the corporate and later handed management of it to a youthful brother, Douglas.
Robert Durst settled his share of the household fortune that was estimated by prosecutors to have $100 million.
Berman’s cousin, Davy Berman, who she lived with in Idaho as a teen after her father died, mentioned he had gone to see her grave on the House of Peace Memorial Park in East Los Angeles earlier than the sentencing.
“I visited her and advised her she might relaxation straightforward,” he mentioned as his voice cracked. “That justice has been carried out.”
Related Press writers Christopher Weber and Stefanie Dazio in Los Angeles and Michael R. Sisak in New York contributed to this report.