Robert Durst, the infamous millionaire real estate heir convicted last month of the murder of his close friend Susan Berman in 2000, was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole today. Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Mark E. Windham read the sentence in Airport Court today.
Durst, 78, whose appearance in the six-part HBO documentary series The Jinx: The Life and Death of Robert Durst rekindled interest in the case, he sat slumped in a wheelchair in the courtroom while the judgment was rendered. At one point, his two representatives seemed to look at him with concern.
The defendant, unshaven and with the mask sliding down his face, looked even more haggard than usual, his breathing seemed to increase as the procedure progressed towards its conclusion.
The defense filed a motion for a new trial today. He previously held that there was “insufficient evidence to support the conviction beyond a reasonable doubt, and that the verdict was contrary to the evidence and the law.” He cited the lack of forensic evidence. The prosecution maintained that such evidence was “a red herring” and was not necessary to convict.
Waldman dismissed the defense motion saying, among other things, that Durst confessed to the murder. That alone, he said, is evidence enough. He was also incredulous at Durst’s explanation of his admission. As a result, he found “overwhelming evidence of guilt.”
It was Durst’s own off-camera admission of “What the hell did I do? … I killed them all, of course” in the finale of the March 2015 series of the Emmy and Peabody Awards. The spell who saw the alleged murderer arrested again by the police. Arrested by the FBI on March 14 of that year on behalf of the office of then-Los Angeles District Attorney Jackie Lacey and with what appeared to be new evidence, Durst was extradited to the West Coast in the fall of 2015 to face to the California court.
He was convicted of first degree murder on September 17 of this year. The jury also found true the special circumstances allegations of stalking murder and murder of a witness. It also found true allegations that Durst personally used and shot a firearm during the commission of the crime.
Durst has never clarified whether he murdered his wife Kathie McCormack Durst in the early 1980s, which was the subject of the 2010 film. All the good things, starring Ryan Gosling and Kirsten Dunst. Although he was acquitted for self-defense in 2003, Durst previously admitted to killing Morris Black, his neighbor at the Galveston, Texas, pension in 2001.
The Los Angeles Times reported earlier this month that the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office in New York would convene a grand jury within weeks on Kathie Durst’s disappearance, and that the family’s attorney, Robert Abrams, He received an email notifying them that his family members will not be allowed to speak at the Durst sentencing in Los Angeles.
Durst has long been estranged from his real estate-rich family, which is known for owning a number of New York City skyscrapers, including an investment in the World Trade Center. He separated from the family when his younger brother was put in charge of the family business, leading to a lengthy legal battle and eventually reaching a settlement in which the family reportedly paid him between $ 60 million and $ 65 million. .
City News Service contributed to this report.