Weeks after Robert Durst was convicted of murder and sentenced to life for a 2000 killing, the former real estate heir is facing charges in the 1982 disappearance of his wife.
State Police investigator Joseph Becerra this week filed a second-degree murder complaint in Lewisboro, New York, the New York Times reported. The complaint precedes a formal murder charge.
Becerra has reportedly been working on the case for 20 years and Westchester County DA Miriam Rocah has appeared keen to pursue a case against Robert. The Times reported Rocah is bringing close to two dozen witnesses in front of a grand jury.
The single-page complaint cites support for the allegations from Westchester, New York State and Los Angeles authorities in addition to witness accounts, interviews with Durst and court testimony, according to the Times.
Kathie McCormack Durst disappeared in January 1982 from her Westchester County home. She has since been presumed dead, but her body was never found. Durst has previously admitted to lying about where he was when his wife disappeared.
Prosecutors in Westchester County reopened the investigation into her disappearance earlier in the year.
“Sometimes it takes 40 years for justice,” an attorney for Kathie’s family told the Times upon learning of the complaint. “We are grateful for the work, dedication and commitment of District Attorney Roca and her staff.”
Durst killed Berman in 2000 because he feared she was going to come forward with information pertaining to his wife’s disappearance, prosecutors argued in the Los Angeles trial.
Durst’s lawyers are expected to appeal the sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole for Berman’s killing. The conviction came six years after his infamous appearance on HBO’s “The Jinx,” which included comments that appeared to be self-incriminating.
Beyond being convicted and sentenced in Los Angeles, Durst’s deteriorating health may prevent him from facing a trial in New York, should it come to that. He was recently admitted to a hospital and tested positive for Covid-19. He was reportedly put on a respirator.
[NYT] — Holden Walter-Warner