The listening to started with the prosecution making arguments after the protection crew filed a movement for a brand new trial. Decide Mark Windham denied the movement. The protection later stated they might enchantment the choice.
Durst didn’t converse after a number of individuals gave witness influence statements however did reply sure when requested whether or not he would waive his proper to look on the subsequent courtroom listening to.
On the listening to, the sufferer’s son, Sareb Kaufman, described his mom as “eccentric, vivacious and beneficiant to a fault. Typically needy and phobic, a power of nature, however extraordinarily good and witty.”
Deni Marcus, a lifelong buddy of Berman’s, stated she was an “completely extraordinary, unforgettable, good individual whose life was tragically taken from her.”
Durst, 78, was convicted by a jury September 17 of capturing his finest buddy Susan Berman in 2000 at her Beverly Hills house, hours earlier than she was set to speak to investigators in regards to the mysterious disappearance of his first spouse, Kathleen McCormack Durst, who was final seen in 1982.
McCormack Durst was declared legally lifeless in 2017. Her physique has not been discovered and nobody has been charged within the case.
“By telling the place Kathie is, maybe yow will discover some small redemption in an act of humanity,” Berman’s son urged Durst. “You did not simply homicide Kathie, or Morris (Black, a neighbor), or Susan, you additionally murdered me and murdered the individual I used to be — all his desires and all his hopes, gone.”
A couple of jurors attended the sentencing, with one telling CNN, “It has been a protracted two years.” They declined to remark additional.
The eccentric inheritor to a New York actual property empire, Durst took the stand in his months-long trial and denied killing McCormack Durst and Berman. He stated he discovered Berman on the ground of her bed room with a deadly gunshot to the again of the pinnacle.
However beneath cross-examination, Durst testified he would perjure himself if he had killed them. Prosecutors’ questions additionally prompted Durst to confess he perjured himself 5 instances throughout the trial.
As well as, a longtime buddy of each Durst and Berman, Nick Chavin, testified the defendant had instructed him, “It was her or me,” referring to Berman. “I had no alternative.”
As a part of their verdict, jurors agreed the crime met “particular circumstances” in California regulation, which permits for Durst to be sentenced to life with out parole, for the homicide of a witness to a criminal offense, mendacity in wait and utilizing a firearm within the homicide. California has a moratorium on the loss of life penalty.
He was in coronavirus quarantine in jail on the time the jury introduced the responsible verdicts, his legal professional stated.
The sentencing comes years after Durst’s notorious function within the 2015 HBO documentary “The Jinx.” Within the last moments of the present, Durst went into the toilet, apparently not realizing his mic was nonetheless on, and made a collection of feedback that seemed to be a confession.
“There it’s. You are caught,” he stated in a collection of seemingly unrelated sentences. “He was proper. I used to be flawed.”
“What the hell did I do? Killed all of them, in fact,” he stated.
Nevertheless, transcripts of the audio recording in courtroom revealed that the quotes have been spliced and edited to be in a special order and context, The New York Instances has reported. Durst has stated he was “excessive on meth” throughout the taping of the documentary.
Berman’s loss of life will not be the primary through which Durst has confronted trial. In 2003, Durst instructed police he killed and dismembered a neighbor in Galveston, Texas, two years earlier. He stated he shot the person and minimize him up in a panic. Prosecutors stated he wished to steal the person’s id and escape the investigation of his spouse’s disappearance.
CNN’s Stephanie Becker and Cheri Mossburg reported from Los Angeles, and Steve Almasy wrote in Atlanta. CNN’s Eric Levenson and Paul Vercammen contributed to this report.