Update – March 16, 12:04 a.m.: The trial has been postponed to April 6, according to a Los Angeles Superior Court statement obtained by Law&Crime.
It’s a case years in the making. Robert Durst, 76, stands trial for the murder of longtime friend Susan Berman, 55. Prosecutors say he shot her at her Beverly Hills home on December 23, 2000, shortly after New York state authorities reopened an investigation into the 1982 disappearance of his wife Kathie McCormack Durst. Prosecutors are not seeking the death penalty. Openings are set to begin Wednesday, March 4 at 12 p.m. PT / 9 a.m. ET, but there is no live stream. Law&Crime will carry portions of the trial on a delay. You can watch in the player above.
#RobertDurst – JURY: 8 women, 4 men makeup the deliberating 12. 5 women, 6 men are the alternates.
— Law & Crime Network (@LawCrimeNetwork) March 3, 2020
The Berman case is tied indelibly to Kathie Durst’s disappearance, and 2001 slaying of the defendant’s neighbor Morris Black. Both incidents will play at a role at this trial. For example, the state is allowed to present evidence the defendant made his wife have an abortion.
Then there’s the matter of Black’s death. Robert Durst moved to Galveston, Texas after Berman’s murder, where he admittedly killed Black while posing as a mute woman in the Lone Star State. Prosecutors over there charged him with murder, but his defense successfully got him acquitted after arguing the shooting happened as a matter of self-defense. Nonetheless, Durst was convicted of dismembering the body.
#RobertDurst Jury Selection – Potential juror says if someone is capable of dismembering a body he feels that person could commit a murder. He said he’s not saying he believes Durst killed Berman, but the fact that he dismembered a body he thinks he’s predisposed to murder. pic.twitter.com/gwoW6IFMDH
— Law & Crime Network (@LawCrimeNetwork) March 2, 2020
All told, decades passed but Durst dodged actual homicide charges despite widespread suspicion. That changed in 2015, when he was arrested for the Berman murder in New Orleans. Incidentally, it was right around the premiere of the HBO docuseries The Jinx. In the last episode, he apparently confessed to murder while on a hot mic, but his defense has said that his statements were edited out of order.
Cathy Russon contributed to this report.
[Image via Jae C. Hong-Pool\Getty Images]