After more than 20 years, an infamous real estate heir will be sentenced for murdering his loyal friend. There is no suspense surrounding the punishment that Robert Durst, 78, will get for killing Susan Berman, 55, execution-style at her Beverly Hills home in 2000. It is an automatic sentence of life without parole. Durst will die in prison, but Thursday’s hearing happens amid escalating action across the country.
Prosecutors in New York State, where Durst’s wife Kathleen McCormack Durst, 29, went missing in 1982, are reportedly working on empaneling a grand jury in connection to her going missing. You can watch the California sentencing hearing in the player above. It is scheduled to begin at 1:30 p.m. PT / 4:30 p.m. ET.
So far, Durst is only guilty of killing Berman, but prosecutors in Los Angeles County, California, maintained the slaying was part of a decades-long trail of bloodshed. Prosecutors convinced jurors that Durst killed his wife 1982, had Berman pretend to be Kathie in a call to the dean of the victim’s medical school, and then killed Berman in 2000 to stop her from speaking to investigators in Westchester County, New York. From there, Durst moved to Texas, pretended to be a mute woman, and killed his neighbor Morris Black, 71. Texas jurors acquitted Durst of murder in the Black case after he maintained self-defense, but they convicted him of dismembering the body. Investigators never found Morris Black’s head.
David Chesnoff, a co-counsel for Durst in the California trial, declined to comment to Law&Crime regarding the news of a potential grand jury proceeding.
“I don’t respond to rumors,” he told us on the phone Friday, regarding on-background reporting from News 12 and the Daily News.
The Westchester County District Attorney’s Office did not immediately respond to our request for comment.
To date, Robert Durst has never been charged in Kathie’s disappearance. Kathie Durst was declared legally dead in 2017.
[Image by Al Seib – Pool/Getty Images]
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