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Robert Durst - Murder of Susan Berman
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Author:  Molly [ Mon Oct 10, 2016 8:41 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Robert Durst - Murder of Susan Berman

This is odd. :40

Robert Durst in process of being transferred to Indiana prison
By AP | Click2Houston | September 27, 2016

HOUSTON - Real estate heir Robert Durst is in the process of being transferred to an Indiana prison which has a medical unit, rather than the California prison requested because he faces a murder trial in Los Angeles, KPRC 2 has learned.

Durst, 72, had been in the St. Charles Parish jail, which is about 25 miles from New Orleans, since April 2015.

Durst's attorney Dick DeGuerin said last week that the Bureau of Prisons assigned Durst to the federal prison in Terre Haute.

DeGuerin released a statement Tuesday that read, "Bob Durst is eager to get to California so that he can get to trial and prove that he did not kill Susan Berman and doesn't know who did. His transfer to Terre Haute is temporary, but it will cause a delay in the start of the California proceedings and make it more difficult for his lawyers to visit him and communicate with him. I am hopeful that the authorities transporting him will take into account his age and health problems."
When Durst was sentenced on the weapons charge in April, he told the judge, "I have been waiting to get to California about a year so I can state my not guilty plea. I truly, truly want to express my statement that I am not guilty in the death of Susan Berman."

More at link: http://www.click2houston.com/news/rober ... ana-prison

Author:  Molly [ Mon Nov 14, 2016 9:10 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Robert Durst - Murder of Susan Berman

Robert Durst pleads not guilty in 16-year-old L.A. murder case
By James Queally | LA Times | November 7, 2016

For years, Robert Durst has slipped in and out of law enforcement’s crosshairs.

The real estate scion has been considered a suspect in the disappearance of his first wife in New York in 1982, the target of a years-long investigation into the 2000 execution-style slaying of a writer in Los Angeles and a defendant in a 2003 murder trial in Texas after he chopped up the body of a neighbor and threw the pieces into Galveston Bay.
Durst appeared in the Airport Courthouse, emphatically proclaiming his innocence before a packed room.

Seated in a wheelchair, Durst sported a neck brace and wore a blue-and-white-striped shirt with khaki pants. He remained relatively quiet and still throughout the 45-minute arraignment, occasionally turning around to confer with his attorneys and glance at the throng of media filling the courtroom gallery.

But when asked if he would waive his right to an immediate preliminary hearing, Durst repeated his contention that he had nothing to do with his friend’s slaying.

“I am not guilty,” he said in a hoarse voice. “I did not kill Susan Berman.”
At the end of Monday’s hearing, he was remanded into Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department custody. He will be held in either the downtown Men’s Central Jail or the Twin Towers facility while awaiting trial, depending on the outcome of a medical screening, said Capt. Jeff Scroggin, a Sheriff’s Department spokesman.

Speaking to reporters before he entered the courtroom, Durst’s attorney, Dick DeGuerin, said his client has been dealing with several medical issues and is recovering from a spinal fusion surgery he underwent in Louisiana earlier this year. Durst is also a cancer survivor and has struggled with hydropencephalitis, a condition that involves brain swelling.

DeGuerin said he has been relishing the chance to plead Durst’s case in court.

“We’re happy to be here. We’ve wanted to be here since March” of 2015, he said.

DeGuerin did not take questions after the hearing.
Durst’s next court date is scheduled for Feb. 15, 2017, and a preliminary hearing probably will take place by March, though there may be some evidentiary issues to clear up between now and then.

More at link: http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-m ... story.html

Author:  Rumpole [ Wed Dec 21, 2016 2:41 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Robert Durst - Murder of Susan Berman

Robert Durst Suggests He Would Accept Plea Deal in Transcript From 2015

Toward the end of an extraordinary three-hour interview with prosecutors in Los Angeles, Robert Durst, the real estate scion accused of murder, speculated that he might accept a plea deal in a case surrounding the killing of a friend in California in 2000.

In a transcript of the conversation, released on Friday in court papers by the Los Angeles district attorney, the prosecutor, John Lewin, tells Mr. Durst that he is unlikely to ever again be a free man.

Mr. Durst responds by suggesting that he might be willing to negotiate a plea. “So if I was to accept that, I’m not going to be out of prison — now, the question is, where do I want to spend my time?” Mr. Durst says. “And I’m going to be, you know, assuming we can come up with something.”

The conversation took place hours after Mr. Durst’s arrest in New Orleans in March 2015.

Mr. Durst, who was not accompanied by a lawyer, acknowledged that the prosecutors also wanted to know the location of the body of his first wife — Kathie Durst, who mysteriously disappeared in 1982 — if only to console her 102-year-old mother, Ann McCormack.

“Oh, I would love to make Ann McCormack happy,” Mr. Durst said.

But while Mr. Durst, now 73, said he was eager to talk more, he insisted, “I’m not going to say to you, ‘John, this is it,’ without my lawyer agreeing.”

...more at link
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/19/nyreg ... .html?_r=0

Author:  Molly [ Sat Jan 07, 2017 4:07 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Robert Durst - Murder of Susan Berman

Early testimony allowed from 2 witnesses in fugitive case
By Amanda Lee Myers, Brian Melley | AP BigStory | January 6, 2017


LOS ANGELES (AP) — He's charged with murder and is looking frail in a wheelchair, but multimillionaire Robert Durst found himself laughing in a Los Angeles courtroom Friday during the most dramatic moment of a lengthy hearing mired in technical legal arguments.

The 73-year-old real estate heir chuckled as a prosecutor bit back at defense attorneys and laid out his chief theory in the case.

"That man kills witnesses," prosecutor John Lewin said. "When pushed into a corner, he murders people."
Friday's hearing centered on whether prosecutors should be allowed to obtain early testimony from two witnesses in the Berman case because Durst poses a danger to them.

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Mark Windham ruled that the witnesses can give testimony in a public hearing on Feb. 14, finding that one of them is in possible danger. He ruled that the other witness can testify because of his advanced age of 85.

The defense will be able to cross-examine both witnesses. Their testimony will not be used if they are available to testify during Durst's trial, which has not been scheduled.

Durst's attorney, Dick DeGuerin, said secrecy surrounding the two unidentified witnesses forces him to shadowbox.

He said allowing the early testimony over fears of witness danger would be to presume that Durst killed his wife and Berman, saying there's no evidence involving either.

Durst's attorneys also have argued that their client is harmless because he's frail and behind bars. They've accused the prosecution of trying to litigate the case in the news media.

"We're in a very complicated case with experienced lawyers who are not going to sit by and say it's OK to steamroll Mr. Durst," said David Chesnoff, another Durst attorney.

Prosecutors are taking an aggressive approach in publicly laying out their theory of the case before knowing if it will go to trial.

The defense has objected to some of the information prosecutors have revealed, including a transcript and recording of a nearly three-hour interrogation of Durst following his arrest in New Orleans in 2015.

One of the witnesses prosecutors will question on Feb. 14 is a doctor who may have been the last person to speak with Kathleen Durst. No charges have ever been brought in the suspected killing of Durst's first wife, whose body has not been found.

Lewin may also call witnesses to the killing of Durst's neighbor in Texas. Durst was acquitted of murder in the case but convicted of tampering with evidence and jumping bail.

More at link: http://bigstory.ap.org/article/d81c7886 ... 4368c45d1f

Author:  Molly [ Wed Feb 15, 2017 5:25 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Robert Durst - Murder of Susan Berman

Robert Durst murder case: Secret witness to testify early because he fears for life
By Brian Melley, AP | The Mercury News | February 15, 2017

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A “secret witness” who fears for his life is expected to testify Wednesday against New York real estate heir Robert Durst in a California murder case.

The testimony, which comes at a special hearing even before a judge has decided whether Durst should stand trial, will be recorded on video. It would only be used if something happens to him and he can’t testify during a potential trial.

Prosecutors have suggested the eccentric millionaire could have witnesses killed and they don’t plan to reveal the man’s identity until they call him to the stand.

The defense was told his name two weeks ago.
A similar conditional witness giving advance testimony to be used at trial if necessary took the stand on Tuesday, and his testimony centered on the wife.

Dr. Albert Kuperman, 85, a retired associate dean at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, testified that Kathleen, was a bright, attractive, smartly dressed medical student.

On Feb. 1, 1982, Kuperman got a call from a woman who identified herself as Kathie Durst and said she was sick with diarrhea and a headache and wouldn’t make it to her first day of a pediatrics clerkship in her final year of medical school.

The call was long believed to be the last conversation anyone had with Kathie Durst. But Deputy District Attorney John Lewin suggested while interrogating Durst two years ago that someone else placed the call.
Durst, who is frail and hunched, walked into court Tuesday after making previous entrances in a wheelchair.

Judge Mark Windham won’t decide until a preliminary hearing, tentatively scheduled for October, whether Durst even goes to trial.

More at link: http://www.mercurynews.com/2017/02/15/s ... rder-case/

Author:  Molly [ Mon Jul 24, 2017 4:41 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Robert Durst - Murder of Susan Berman

Robert Durst's longtime friend will testify against him in his murder case, and he'll be there to hear it
By Marisa Gerber | LA Times | July 24, 2017

Robert Durst — the idiosyncratic real estate tycoon accused of murdering his best friend to silence her — is scheduled to appear in Los Angeles court Monday to hear more witnesses, including a longtime friend, testify for the prosecution.

The New York millionaire is unlikely to stand trial before 2018, and the judge has allowed prosecutors and defense attorneys to gather early testimony from several elderly witnesses.

...more at link
http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-m ... story.html

Author:  Molly [ Thu Aug 10, 2017 11:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Robert Durst - Murder of Susan Berman

This was the last witness in the week-long testimony mentioned above. Sorry so long, Rumpole. Shortened it as much as I could. :)

Durst friend admits getting guidance from husband before backtracking on testimony
Marisa Gerber | Los Angeles Times | July 31, 2017

One of Robert Durst’s oldest friends admitted on the stand Monday that she got guidance from her husband before backtracking on damaging testimony that put the New York real estate magnate in Los Angeles at the time his best friend was murdered.

Last week, Emily Altman gave testimony that addressed a key challenge police had faced in building a case against Durst: His whereabouts at the time of the slaying of his best friend, Susan Berman.

Durst told her he’d been in Los Angeles around the time Berman was killed in December 2000, Altman had said.
But under questioning from Durst’s attorney the next day, Altman distanced herself from the claim, saying she didn’t know whether she’d heard it from Durst or from her husband. She also said that while she knew Durst had been in California around that time, she was not sure whether he’d been in Los Angeles.
Altman said Monday she was intimidated when Deputy Dist. Atty. John Lewin questioned her last week. She first said she believed Durst was staying at the Beverly Hilton hotel during that fateful time, but after thinking about her testimony in her hotel room, she then said she wasn’t sure if he’d been in L.A. at all.

When you returned to your hotel room to think, Lewin asked Monday, were you aware that the information you’d provided in court was “extremely damaging” to Durst? “Yes,” she responded.

The witness said Monday that before changing her account, she spoke to her husband Stewart about what she’d said on the stand. During that conversation, she said, her husband told her he remembered it differently — the information, he told her, had probably come from him, not Durst. “He felt that I was incorrect,” Altman said.

Later in Monday’s hearing, Durst’s lead attorney, Dick DeGuerin, asked if her final statement on the matter was that she couldn't identify the source of the information. Altman nodded, saying, “I really don’t think I can.”

At one point, the prosecutor expressed frustration with her answers, which he characterized as intentionally evasive.

“She’s been Pinocchio up there, your honor,” Lewin said.

Altman, 68, is one of several older witnesses whom prosecutors have questioned early, preserving their testimony in case they’re not available for the murder trial, which is unlikely to begin before 2018.

Durst will return to court Aug. 28, when several other witnesses, including Altman’s husband, Stewart, are expected to testify for the prosecution. Two witnesses who were initially going to testify last week — Paul Kaufman, who dated Berman and Richard Markey, one of the last people to see Berman alive — are also scheduled to testify at that time.

http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-m ... story.html

Author:  Molly [ Mon Sep 04, 2017 2:19 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Robert Durst - Murder of Susan Berman

All three days of testimony by this friend/attorney is interesting.

Longtime friend says Durst taped himself practicing his testimony in Texas murder case
By Marisa Gerber | Los Angeles Times | August 31, 2017

In his third day of testimony, one of Robert Durst’s longtime friends revealed Thursday that he’d previously destroyed tapes of the idiosyncratic New York real estate scion practicing what he planned to say during his 2003 murder trial in Texas.

Stewart Altman said that while Durst was behind bars accused of the 2001 killing of his neighbor in Galveston, he’d recorded himself and then given the tapes to Altman.

“I got the tapes, I listened to them and I destroyed them,” said Altman, who has acted as Durst’s personal attorney over the years.
Altman, 74, testified that although he’d been close friends with Kathleen — who prosecutors contend was killed by Durst — his allegiance ultimately lies with Durst, not his wife.

“Would you agree,” the prosecutor asked, “that Bob Durst is basically like family to you?”

“Yes,” said Altman, a labor lawyer who went to high school with Durst in Scarsdale, N.Y.

Attorneys for both Durst and Altman argued that the witness should be shielded from testifying under attorney-client privilege, but prosecutors said Altman knows many things about the defendant that he learned as Durst’s friend, not as his lawyer. The judge ultimately ruled that Altman did have to take the stand, but said that his lawyers could object to individual questions.

Durst will return to court Sept. 20, when attorneys will discuss whether they will be prepared for a preliminary hearing scheduled for Oct. 16. The judge said the timetable will be somewhat flexible, as several Houston-based members of Durst’s legal team either had to evacuate their homes or had office damage caused by Hurricane Harvey.

More at link: http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-m ... story.html

Author:  Molly [ Wed Oct 18, 2017 5:47 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Robert Durst - Murder of Susan Berman

More pre-trial testimony this week. I missed reporting on the last one in September, but it is searchable. ;)

New York state trooper who investigated the disappearance of Robert Durst's wife testifies in L.A. murder case
By Marisa Gerber | Los Angeles Times | October 16, 2017

Robert Durst’s wife, Kathleen, told her divorce attorney shortly before she vanished decades ago that the eccentric millionaire “threatened to kill her,” a retired New York state trooper who investigated her missing person case testified Monday.

The trooper, James Harney, is one of several witnesses called to the stand by prosecutors in Los Angeles to testify against the real estate tycoon, who lived for years under the suspicion of New York authorities and now stands accused of shooting his best friend to silence her for what she knew about Kathleen’s 1982 disappearance.
Harney testified that he was assigned to look into Kathleen’s disappearance on Feb. 5, 1982, after police received a call from a concerned friend of Kathleen’s. During Monday’s hearing, Harney read aloud from a three-page missing person report he wrote at the end of his shift.

Kathleen’s attorney told the trooper that during a phone call about a week earlier, Kathleen had expressed fear for her safety and said that Durst had “threatened to kill her,” Harney said, reading from his report.

The trooper also said that he spoke to a doctor at a Bronx hospital, who told him that about two weeks earlier Kathleen had been treated for “abrasions to the face,” adding that it had possibly been the result of an assault by Durst. No police report had been filed at the time, Harney noted.

Harney’s report mentioned that Kathleen’s brother said during an interview that his sister and Durst had a “deteriorating” relationship.

About 10 p.m. the day he was assigned the case, Harney received a call from Durst reporting Kathleen missing and inviting the trooper over.
Prosecutors this week also plan to call a doctor who lived near Berman’s Benedict Canyon home and the former assistant chief of the Beverly Hills Police Department.

During a hearing in July, prosecutors displayed a copy of an envelope addressed to “Beverley Hills Police.” Inside the envelope, prosecutors said, was an anonymous note sent to authorities around the time of Berman’s death alerting them to a “cadaver” inside her home. A longtime friend of Durst said it looked like his handwriting.

More at link: http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-m ... story.html

Author:  Molly [ Tue Dec 05, 2017 1:39 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Robert Durst - Murder of Susan Berman

Robert Durst back in court after emergency hospitalization
By Nancy Dillon | NY Daily News | November 28, 2017

Robert Durst is “doing fine” after an emergency hospitalization delayed his murder case two weeks ago, his lawyer told the Daily News on Tuesday.

The multimillionaire real estate scion looked frail and skinny as he appeared in a Los Angeles courtroom, but he shuffled in and out of the pretrial hearing without assistance.

“He’s elderly. He’s had health problems. He’s doing fine,” lead defense lawyer Dick DeGuerin said of his 74-year-old client.

DeGuerin dismissed as “bulls--t” a report this week that claimed Durst was using a wheelchair and “rotting” in a psychiatric ward.

Retired NYPD detective defends his probe into Durst murder case.

He declined to elaborate on the exact reason Durst was hospitalized in the predawn hours of Nov. 16.

“It’s private,” the Texas-based lawyer said. “He’s not in a psych ward. He’s not dying,” another Durst lawyer, Donald Re, told The News.

More at link: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/man ... -1.3663610

Author:  Molly [ Tue Dec 05, 2017 1:47 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Robert Durst - Murder of Susan Berman

Ex-NYPD detective admits having sex with witness during inquiry into Robert Durst's missing wife
By Marisa Gerber | Los Angeles Times | November 29, 2017

Retired New York police Det. Michael Struk testified Wednesday that during his investigation into the disappearance of Robert Durst’s wife three decades ago he had sex with a witness.

Would you agree, a prosecutor asked, that your actions were “about as unprofessional as you could get?”

“Yes,” Struk responded.

The bombshell testimony came during a hearing in Los Angeles, where Durst is charged in a separate case — the 2000 slaying of his best friend, Susan Berman. Prosecutors allege that Durst killed Berman, a crime writer and the daughter of a mob boss, to keep her from telling authorities what she knew about the 1982 disappearance of Durst’s wife, Kathleen.

In an L.A. court Wednesday, Struk testified that during his investigation he received a phone call from a witness asking him to come search a location the next day. When he arrived at the location, Struk said, two witnesses were there, but one of them soon left. The witness who remained — a woman who was not identified — then made a sexual advance, Struk said.

“I went along,” the detective added.

Asked whether he was aware at the time that it was improper to have sexual relations with a witness, Struk said, “I would agree with that.”

The detective also testified that he’d spent the night on the couch at the home of a friend of Kathleen Durst, after attending a party where he hoped to gather “some information” about the case. Asked whether he spent the night because he had been drinking, Struk responded, “I don’t remember.”

More at link: http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-m ... story.html

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