The jury found the special circumstances regarding the killing of a witness to be true and indicated that they believed the prosecution arguments that Durst had also murdered his first wife, Kathleen McCormack Durst in 1982. Prosecutors argued that Durst shot Berman because she helped him cover up his earlier killing and Durst believed that she was about to accuse him to the police. Kathie Durst's body was never found.
Durst, who is now 78 and in poor physical condition, was found guilty on Sept. 17 of murder, lying in wait, and killing a witness. These are special circumstances that require the harshest sentence. California has a moratorium against the death penalty.
LOS ANGELES Robert Durst was sentenced to life without parole on Thursday for the murder of Susan Berman, his multimillionaire friend and real estate heir.
Bermans family spoke out about the devastation caused by her death in emotional victim impact statements. They also defended Bermans character and praised her loyalty. Durst, however, begged Durst to tell McCormack and McCormack where Kathie Durst's body was.
Davey Berman was Susan Bermans 79 year-old cousin. He broke down in court as he spoke about the special relationship he had with his cousin. Durst should tell us where Kathies remains so that her family can get closure.
Sareb Kaufman was raised by Berman with his sister and refers to her as his mom.
Kaufman stated that she was not conniving, lazy, or a gold digger. She made a mistake because of Robert Durst, her deep love for her family and her sense of protection.
Kaufman had found critical evidence which was prominently featured in The Jinx. Durst saved Berman's envelope as a duplicate of the cadaver notes envelope. This envelope was first reported to police about Berman's death. In the shocking final of Jinxs, Andrew Jarecki confronted Durst. Durst mumbled to himself as he said that he had killed them all moments later.
Kaufman stated that Susan Berman's murder was solved and that I was very fortunate.
He said that neither Dursts victory nor Dursts conviction could make up for what was lost.
Kaufman stated that PTSD and nervous breakdowns are still something I cannot describe. He also said that Berman's murder has made his life a complete nightmare.
Kaufman stated that you didn't only murder Kathie or Morris or Susan. You also killed me.
Although Durst wasn't charged with her death, the trial was largely focused on Kathie Durst's disappearance and how she died. Durst's defense aggressively victimized her, portraying her as a promiscuous social climber who was struggling to pay her medical school tuition. However, her family, friends and colleagues as well as neighbors said that she was a victim to domestic violence and was afraid Durst would kill her. Durst even admitted to her assault.
Despite the fact that Durst's story was prominently covered in the trial, the family of McCormacks were not permitted to address the court with victim impact statements. According to the LA Times, an attorney representing the McCormacks said that it was outrageous that Durst was denied the opportunity to face them in court. This is despite decades of injustice. Judge Mark Windham admitted that he did not hear from McCormack's family after he handed down the sentence. However, he said, "I just wish you peace going ahead from this."
Durst was previously convicted of murder in the shooting death of Morris Black in Galveston. Durst admitted that he killed the 71 year-old man and dismembered his body. However, the jury acquitted Durst based on self-defense arguments.
The Jinx was a major focus of attention in 2015 as he committed more crimes. Durst was detained in New Orleans just a day before the finale and has remained there ever since. In November 2016, Durst was extradited from New Orleans and is currently being held in the Twin Towers Correctional Facility, downtown LA. This facility houses people with medical problems. Durst, who had been exposed to COVID, was in isolation when the verdict was read.
Durst didn't expect to live as long as it did. Durst stated that he was told by his doctors that he would live for five more years in a prison interview with John Lewin, a New Orleans prosecutor. Durst has beaten this estimate by more than one year. His attorneys said they will file an appeal. However, Thursday's sentencing almost guarantees hell spend his last days in prison.
Mr. Durst will almost certainly never see the light, Lewin stated in his closing remarks on Thursday. He also expressed hope that Durst does something selfless and reveals what he did for his first wife.
Kaufman shared that hope and described it as Durst's only remaining thing of value before his death.
He said that Kathie can be found some small redemption by telling him where he is.