Robert Durst gets life in prison for murdering Susan Berman

Real estate outcast not eligible for parole; lawyers plan to appeal

Los Angeles /
Oct.October 15, 2021 03:00 PM
Robert Durst at the sentencing on October 14 (Getty)

Robert Durst at the sentencing on October 14 (Getty)

Robert Durst was sentenced in Los Angeles to life in prison Thursday for the 2000 murder of Susan Berman at her Benedict Canyon home.

The 78-year-old former heir to the Durst Organization fortune will not be eligible for parole, according to the New York Times.

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Mark Windham denied Durst’s lawyers’ request for a new trial. They are expected to appeal the decision.

The courtroom was full for the sentencing, a first since the trial restarted in May following a pandemic-related pause.

The decision concludes an almost five-year court drama that started with Durst’s pleading not guilty to the murder charge in 2016. That same year, he pleaded guilty to a gun charge and received a seven-year sentence, which he is still serving.

The trial has been one of the highest profile cases in the country, largely because of the 2015 documentary “The Jinx,” which detailed Durst’s life and concluded with evidence that he was involved in Berman’s murder.

Prosecutors arrested Durst in 2015, not long after the documentary’s release, and accused him of killing Berman to prevent her from sharing information about his wife Kathie McCormack’s 1982 disappearance.

Berman was a close confidant of Durst and acted as his informal spokesperson in the period after McCormack’s disappearance, which remains unsolved.

Prosecutors in Westchester County, New York, reopened the McCormack investigation this year. The district attorney’s office is expected to seek a first-degree murder indictment soon, according to the Times.

The L.A. County trial concluded last month and the jury quickly found Durst guilty.

The trail saw a handful of dramatic moments. Durst’s brother, Durst Organization Chairman Douglas Durst, testified in June that he thought his brother wants to kill him and “may have the means to do so.”

The defendant helped convict himself with his own testimony in August.

“‘Did you kill Susan Berman?’ is strictly a hypothetical,” Durst said. “I did not kill Susan Berman. But if I had, I would lie about it.”

[NYT] — Dennis Lynch





    Related Articles

    arrow_forward_ios
    Robert Durst (Getty, iStock)
    Robert Durst indicted on murder charge in wife’s killing
    Robert Durst indicted on murder charge in wife’s killing
    Robert Durst charged with murder in wife’s disappearance
    Robert Durst charged with murder in wife’s disappearance
    Robert Durst charged with murder in wife’s disappearance
    Robert Durst (Getty, iStock)
    Robert Durst is on a ventilator with Covid: lawyer
    Robert Durst is on a ventilator with Covid: lawyer
    Douglas Durst, One Bryant Park, Robert Durst (Getty, Durst Org)
    Robert Durst’s nephew sues family for cutting off trust payments
    Robert Durst’s nephew sues family for cutting off trust payments
    Robert Durst (Getty)
    Robert Durst convicted of murder
    Robert Durst convicted of murder
    (Getty)
    Robert Durst: “I would lie about” killing Susan Berman
    Robert Durst: “I would lie about” killing Susan Berman
    Robert Durst testifying  on August 9th (Getty)
    At his murder trial, Robert Durst denies killing Susan Berman
    At his murder trial, Robert Durst denies killing Susan Berman
    Robert Durst at the trail in May earlier this year (Getty)
    Robert Durst “too sick to continue” murder trial, defense claims
    Robert Durst “too sick to continue” murder trial, defense claims
    arrow_forward_ios

    The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

    Loading...