LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Los Angeles jury began deliberating Tuesday in the lengthy murder trial of New York real estate heir Robert Durst after a prosecutor described him as a “narcissistic psychopath” who needs to be held accountable.
John Lewin, deputy district attorney, said that Durst, a multimillionaire and a successful businessman, lived a life of privilege in which he only cared about himself. Lewin stated that he did not kill for pleasure, but rather to solve problems when he was forced into one.
Bob Durst isn’t crazy. Lewin stated that Durst is not a serial killer or nutjob who kills for the thrill of killing.” Don’t allow this narcissistic psychopath to get away with the things he did.
Durst, 78-year-old, was sitting in a wheelchair and wearing a light-blue sportscoat. He pleaded not guilty in the first-degree murder case against Susan Berman, Durst’s confidante.
Three hours of deliberation was required before the jury recesses for the day. They heard evidence from March 2020 until taking a 14-month rest during the pandemic. The case was reopened in May.
Prosecutors allege that Durst killed Berman at her house in December 2000. She was going to discuss with police a fake alibi she had given him in 1982, when his wife disappeared from New York.
Lewin claimed Berman was murdered because she was a witness. Prosecutors presented evidence about Kathie Durst’s presumed death to prove his motive. They also brought evidence from the Galveston, Texas trial, where he was acquitted in the shooting murder of a neighbor.
Durst, who believed he was facing imminent New York criminal charges, fled to Texas in the late 2000s to hide. Durst claimed that Morris Black pulled a gun against him in Durst’s home and was then shot in the head as he struggled for the weapon.
The defense challenged the strength and credibility of the evidence presented by the prosecutors. They claimed there was no evidence of Kathie Durst’s death and that there was not enough forensic and direct evidence.
They claimed that Berman posed as Kathie Durst and called in sick at the hospital she went to the day after her husband’s death. Robert Durst had last seen her. The call made it seem that she was still breathing.
David Chesnoff, defense attorney, stated that everything had been based on this theory with no evidence or meat to the bones. “You will know that the truth of what I’m telling is true.”
Kathie Durst was never found, and no one has been prosecuted in her disappearance.
Durst could face a life sentence for his crimes if he is convicted.
Durst, who was a “sick and old” defenseless man, was subject to nine days’ brutal cross-examination. Durst made many damning admissions under oath.
Durst said that he didn’t kill Kathie Durst and Berman but that he would lie if asked.
Chesnoff stated, “I hope that when this is over you let Mr. Durst go in a hospital he chooses to live out the rest of his life.”
Lewin responded that Durst wasn’t old or weak, because he was able to live a full and active life — unlike his victims.
He’s here, he is old, and he’s getting sick. Lewin stated that he was able to live to age. “Kathie did not make it to thirty. His close friend Susan Berman was executed in a horrible execution. Morris Black was then murdered and dismembered. … He’s fortunate to have survived to the age of 78 without any health issues. Because his victims and their families do not have the same peace of mind.