“Easy” conviction or lack of evidence? Robert Durst murder trial comes to close

Prosecution and defense gave their summations in case against real estate scion

Robert Durst at the closing arguments of the murder trial (Getty)
Robert Durst at the closing arguments of the murder trial (Getty)

The attorney for real estate scion Robert Durst acknowledged to jurors that his client may have lied about some things during nine days of testimony, that isn’t enough to convict him of murder.

“Making Bob Durst a liar does not make him a killer,” Dick DeGuerin said during his closing statement on Thursday, according to the Associated Press.

But in his closing on Wednesday, Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Habib Balian called the murder case open and shut.

“At its heart, this case is easy,” Balian told jurors, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Durst is accused of killing his friend Susan Berman at her Benedict Canyon home in 2000.

Durst — grandson of Durst Organization founder Joseph Durst and brother of current chairman Douglas Durst — allegedly killed Berman to cover up the murder of his wife, Kathie McCormack, nearly two decades before.

Berman allegedly helped cover up that murder and at the time was scheduled to speak to law enforcement investigators about the case.

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Balian pointed out that one of Durst’s closest friends testified at trial that the real estate heir once effectively confessed to Berman’s murder.

“It was her or me, I had no choice,” Balian recounted Durst’s words, citing the friend’s testimony.

Durst has denied killing Berman and pleaded not guilty, claiming he found her dead at her home. He said last month that he “would lie” about killing Berman had he done so.

In his closing, DeGuerin also accused prosecutors of “trying to get a do-over” of Durst’s trial for the murder of Morris Black in Galveston, Texas in 2001. DeGuerin successfully defended Durst in that trial.

The current trial was suspended at the beginning of the pandemic. The defense unsuccessfully tried twice to stop the case, once last June requesting the declaration of a mistrial and earlier this year arguing Durst was too sick to carry on with the trial.

[AP, LAT] — Dennis Lynch