Questioning of Durst By Prosecutor Concludes with Denial of Berman Murder


Robert Durst Takes The Stand In Murder Trial

Photo: Getty Images

INGLEWOOD (CNS) - A prosecutor wrapped up his weekslong questioning of Robert Durst today, asking the real estate heir one final time in an Inglewood courtroom if he had murdered his close friend Susan Berman in December 2000.

“No,'' Durst responded. Deputy District Attorney John Lewin then asked, “But if you had, you would lie about it?''

Durst answered, “Correct.''

Durst is accused of shooting Berman execution-style to stop her from telling authorities that she helped cover up the disappearance of the defendant's first wife, Kathie Durst, who vanished from the couple's New York home in 1982.

Durst insists he had nothing to do with his wife's disappearance or Berman's death at her Benedict Canyon home, despite anonymously alerting police to the body.

Lewin spent 13 days questioning the 78-year-old defendant, dissected reams of evidence and testimony allegedly pointing to Durst's guilt.

In several exchanges, Durst admitted that he would not tell the jury if he had indeed murdered Berman, his wife and a neighbor named Morris Black whom he was acquitted of killing in Texas the year after Berman's death.

Lewin said that Durst had admitted to at least five instances of perjury while testifying during the trial.

“How is anybody supposed to figure out when you are lying or telling the truth?'' Lewin asked the defendant.

Durst answered, “They would have to use their life experiences to decide ... if I killed Susan Berman.''

The heir to a family New York real estate company testified that after finding Berman's body on the floor of her home, he sent an anonymous “cadaver'' note to police notifying them about the body.

Superior Court Judge Mark E. Windham told the jury that closing arguments would begin Sept. 8 and would be completed by noon Sept. 14, when deliberations would begin.

After Durst left the stand Tuesday and the jury went home, a Zoom hearing took place to discuss whether filmmaker Andrew Jarecki, director of the Durst HBO documentary series “The Jinx,'' should be compelled to testify.

Lewin said Jarecki needs to be brought to court to counter Durst's statements that the director gave him a script or told him what to say in the series, particularly when Durst is heard talking to himself and remarking, “What the hell did I do? Killed them all, of course.''

The judge said he would decide by Wednesday morning whether to bring Jarecki to court to testify. There was some suggestion that the filmmaker was preparing a sequel to “The Jinx,'' but that has not been confirmed.

Durst contends the “I killed them all'' statements, made in a bathroom during taping of the documentary, were edited to appear more sensational than they actually were.

During the hearing, Windham remarked that he has been fascinated by Durst's testimony, in which he “rather brilliantly'' referenced people who are deceased or otherwise unavailable to back up some of his claims. Durst is “making claims he knows cannot be refuted,'' the judge said.

Copyright 2021, City News Service, Inc.


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