The Los Angeles trial of eccentric New York Metropolis millionaire Robert Durst for the homicide of his finest buddy Susan Berman has been postponed because of coronavirus considerations.
Los Angeles Superior Court docket Decide Mark E. Windham, who’s presiding over the case, mentioned the trial will probably be placed on maintain till April 6. The 12 jurors and 12 alternates within the case have been advised to return on that day.
The trial began March four and is predicted to final 5 months.
The presiding choose of the Superior Court docket of California had advisable that each one civil and prison trial be continued for a minimum of 30 days.
The eccentric millionaire is accused of the execution-style homicide of Berman, who was discovered lifeless inside her Beverly Hills dwelling in 2000.
Prosecutors allege that Durst killed Berman, a author whose father was a Las Vegas mob boss, as a result of she knew an excessive amount of in regards to the disappearance of his first spouse Kathleen, who was final seen alive on January 31, 1982.
Prosecutors allege that Berman was not Durst’s solely sufferer, and that he additionally killed Kathleen and Morris Black, his then-neighbor in Galveston, Texas, in 2001.
Durst was acquitted of Black’s homicide when he claimed self-defense, saying Black pointed a gun at him and that Black was killed throughout a battle for the weapon.
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“When Bob Durst killed Kathie, he killed Susan and Morris as properly, as a result of as soon as that occurred, as soon as he did that, there was no turning again,” Los Angeles County Deputy District Legal professional John Lewin advised jurors final week.“ Bob Durst is an individual who’s going to guard and deal with Bob Durst.”
Greater than 100 witnesses are anticipated to testify in the course of the trial. These witnesses embrace Durst’s estranged brother Douglas, HBO’s The Jinx filmmakers Marc Smerling and Andrew Jarecki, and comic Laraine Newman, a buddy of Berman’s.
Durst, 76, has pleaded not responsible to homicide fees in Berman’s demise and has lengthy maintained he had nothing to do with Kathleen’s disappearance.
Berman’s physique was discovered within the bed room of her dwelling round midday on Dec. 24, 2000, after a neighbor reported that her canines have been unfastened. She had been fatally shot at the back of the top. Officers decided there was no pressured entry or indicators of ransacking or a battle. Her purse, together with her ID and her money inside, was sitting on the kitchen counter.
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Throughout opening statements, Lewin mentioned Berman knew her killer and let him inside as a result of Berman was a “paranoid New Yorker” who would have by no means opened her door to a stranger.
“She was murdered by somebody she actually trusted,” mentioned Lewin.
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For many years, Bob Durst had denied he was ever in Los Angeles across the time of Susan Berman’s slaying. Nevertheless, in courtroom Tuesday, DeGuerin admitted that he was in Los Angeles and had plans to spend the vacations together with her when he discovered her lifeless.
“When Bob confirmed up and located her lifeless, he panicked,” DeGuerin mentioned. “He wrote the nameless letter so her physique could be discovered, and he ran. He ran away all of his life.”
DeGuerin mentioned Durst and Berman have been shut associates and had spent holidays collectively up to now. “Bob was not blissful together with his household,” mentioned DeGuerin. “Susie was alone however she and Bob have been the closest of associates.”