Robert Durst’s friend testifies his wife “mixed up” evidence about the accused murderer’s whereabouts in 2000

Emily Altman's backtrack on the stand was a blow to the prosecution's case

TRD New York /
Aug.August 30, 2017 01:30 PM

Robert Durst (Credit: Getty Images)

A longtime friend of Robert Durst told a Los Angeles court that his wife was “all mixed up” when she provided evidence that put the real estate heir in Beverly Hills at the time of Susan Berman’s murder in 2000.

Stewart Altman, who went to high school with Durst and has acted as his attorney, testified Tuesday that his wife called him “hysterical” after she gave evidence in July, the New York Daily News reported. On the stand, Emily Altman initially said Durst had told her personally that he was in Beverly Hills at the time of Berman’s death. But after questioning from defense lawyers the next day, she changed her statement.

She said — after speaking to Stewart Altman on the phone — she thought it had actually been her husband that had told her that Durst was traveling. She added that he had maybe only said California, and not specifically LA.

“She was all upset, all mixed up about her testimony,” Stewart Altman, testified Tuesday, according to the newspaper. “I said to her, ‘It couldn’t have happened like that,'” he testified, in reference to the phone call with his wife. “I said, ‘You didn’t hear it at all — from anybody. Not in December 2000. We had no idea where Bob was or what he was doing.'”

Altman admitted it was “inadvisable” to speak with his wife while she giving evidence, the LA Times reported.

Prosecutors claim Durst killed Berman 17 years ago to stop her from helping police investigate the disappearance of Durst’s wife Kathleen.

He is currently serving a seven-year prison sentence for weapons offences and due to face trial for Berman’s murder. Kathleen, who was officially declared dead by a judge earlier this year,  has not been seen since she went missing in 1982. While Durst has never been charged in connection to her disappearance and presumed death, he is still the only suspect in the case. In 2015, HBO docu-drama “the Jinx” showed Robert muttering what appeared to be a murder confession, though he later said he was under the influence of methamphetamine. [NYDN]Miriam Hall


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