Robert Durst murder trial to restart following Covid delay

Lawyers for Durst Org heir had filed motion for mistrial after yearlong hiatus

Robert Durst appearing in Los Angeles County Superior Court (Getty)
Robert Durst appearing in Los Angeles County Superior Court (Getty)

The murder trial of Robert Durst is set to resume in Inglewood next month, following a yearlong postponement precipitated by the pandemic.

Jurors are set to return May 17 for informal questioning, according to the Associated Press.

The defense team for the Durst family heir filed a motion for a mistrial because of the “extreme delay” and concerns over the future safety of jurors and others posed by Covid-19. Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Mark Windham denied that motion, according to the report.

Durst is charged with the 2000 murder of his friend Susan Berman. Berman’s death at her Beverly Hills home was highlighted in the Netflix series on Durst, “The Jinx.” Prosecutors allege that Durst killed Berman to stop her from speaking to investigators about the 1982 disappearance of Durst’s wife, Kathie McCormack Durst.

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The defense and prosecutors will present a new round of opening arguments. The panel of 23 jurors and 11 alternates heard six days of testimony before the trial was postponed in March 2020, when the pandemic took hold.

Durst’s younger brother Douglas is chairman of the family’s eponymous real estate firm, the Durst Organization. Douglas Durst was set to testify at the trial prior to its delay. In August 2020, the new date of April 2021 was set.

Durst pleaded guilty to a federal weapons charge in 2016 and is serving a 7-year prison term. He was transferred to L.A. County jail to await trial.

[AP] — Dennis Lynch