Did Robert Durst kill his friend Susan Berman? Durst’s attorney David Chesnoff spoke to Law&Crime Network host Linda Kenney Baden in a new special on Wednesday. While he was largely reserved in explaining his team’s argument in the upcoming court fight, he revealed that prosecutor John Lewin’s interview with the defendant may play a role in the trial, which is scheduled to begin next week in Los Angeles County, California.
“He is driven, this prosecutor,” Chesnoff said. “As I said earlier, he knows it inside and out. He not only went and interviewed Mr. Durst. He’s interviewed most of the witnesses in the case, and led the interrogation of those witnesses. So I think at some point in time it will arise in the courtroom.”
Durst was put in a New Orleans jail shortly after his 2015 arrest in Berman’s death, and Lewin traveled there to interview him. The defense team previously tried and failed to keep Durst’s statements out of trial. They had argued that he was in bad shape during the interview, being cold and sleep deprived. The judge ruled that the defendant voluntarily waived his rights after being given a Miranda warning.
Baden, a criminal defense lawyer unaffiliated with the Durst case, said she had never seen anything like the Lewin interview before.
“Usually, it’s the lead investigator,” she said.
Durst stands trial in Berman’s 2000 shooting death. Prosecutors said he murdered the victim because she knew something about the 1982 disappearance of his wife Kathleen McCormack Durst. The defendant left for Texas where he pretended to be a woman. It was there that he killed neighbor Morris Black and dismembered the body. His defense argued that the slaying was in self-defense. They got him acquitted of the murder charge.
Durst was profiled in the HBO show The Jinx, in which he apparently confessed to multiple homicides, but the defendant’s current attorneys said that this was edited out of order. The court allowed prosecutors to present evidence that the defendant made his wife have an abortion.
“You cannot call yourself a criminal defense lawyer and pick and choose who you represent based on whether or not the public at the time of their indictment or their arrest likes them,” Chesnoff said. “One of the jobs of the lawyer is to humanize the client, and I’m comfortable like they did once before in Galveston, that the jury is going to know that Mr. Durst is not anything but a fellow who I think has been persecuted and has been targeted.”
Alberto Luperon contributed to this report.
[Image via MARK BOSTER/AFP via Getty Images]