Robert Durst stands trial for the 2000 murder of friend Susan Berman. Court begins most days at 9 a.m. PT / 12 p.m. ET, but is dark on Fridays. You can watch in the player above.
The trial picks up after a lengthy pause beginning in March 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic put a hold on court hearings across the nation. Los Angeles Deputy District Attorney John Lewin laid out a winding, convoluted story for jurors last year. It was decades in the making. The defendant’s wife Kathleen McCormack Durst went missing in 1982. Evidence and testimony would show that Robert Durst killed her, the prosecutor said. The defendant allegedly told Berman it was an accident and asked her for help. She served as his alibi.
#RobertDurst – Lewin: Susan Berman dated a man with two kids, when they broke up she was extremely close to them and the daughter even lived with her. Mella Kaufman will testify that Susan told her she had been the alibi after Durst’s wife disappeared.
— Law&Crime Network (@LawCrimeNetwork) March 4, 2020
Berman, 55, was shot execution-style at her Beverly Hills home in 2000, and the prosecution suggested that it was because of what she knew about Kathleen’s death and disappearance. As defense lawyer Dick DeGuerin would have it, however, Durst is innocent. His client only came across the body, panicked, and fled, he maintained.
The defense wanted to postpone trial indefinitely, citing the defendant’s diagnosis for bladder cancer. Durst, now 78, is in dire condition, and a trial would be too demanding on his body, they said. The defendant wanted to testify.
“Mr. Durst seeks to testify in this case,” the defense said. “If so, he would likely be on the witness stand for several days during which he could be expected to be subjected to thorough and intense cross-examination. This would be particularly difficult since Mr. Durst would necessarily testify several months into the trial, after the prosecution presented their case in chief. As such, Mr. Durst, would face the dilemma of deciding to either forgo what may be his best and intended defense, or to take the risk that the stress of testifying might result in serious injury or death. As such, the medical evaluation from Dr. [Keith] Klein indicates that Mr. Durst cannot with stand the rigors of trial.”
Aaron Keller contributed to this report.
[Image via Jae C. Hong-Pool_Getty Images]
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