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Robert Durst’s protection makes remaining argument; jury to start out deliberating Tuesday


Legal professionals for Robert Durst, an actual property inheritor charged with silencing his absolute best good friend with a bullet to the again of her head, argued to a jury that prosecutors had didn’t end up some degree crucial to their case: that Durst had killed his spouse 4 many years in the past, the alleged crime to which Durst’s good friend was once believed to be a witness.

Los Angeles County prosecutors have made the case that Durst killed his absolute best good friend, Susan Berman, as a result of she had helped quilt up the demise of his spouse, Kathie Durst, who vanished in 1982 and hasn’t ever been observed since. After Kathie was once killed, Berman impersonated her in a choice to the scientific faculty that she was once attending, telling a dean she was once too sick to visit magnificence, in step with the prosecution’s principle.

20 years later, when government revived the investigation into his spouse’s disappearance, Durst killed Berman to stay her from telling the police what she knew, prosecutors say. They’ve charged Durst with murdering Berman, 55, in her Benedict Canyon house with a unmarried shot to the again of the pinnacle. The 78-year-old additionally faces particular circumstance allegations of killing a witness and mendacity in wait.

Durst’s legal professionals, Dick DeGuerin and David Chesnoff, argued final week and Monday that the basis on which the prosecution’s case rests — that Durst killed his spouse — wasn’t supported via the months of testimony and different proof proven to the jury.

Berman, Chesnoff stated, was once “a witness to not anything.”

Robert Durst’s protection lawyers, Dick DeGuerin, left, and David Chesnoff, concentrate because the prosecution starts remaining arguments.

(Al Seib / Los Angeles Occasions)

The prosecution, Chesnoff stated, has requested the jury to elide the gaps in its case, to “make leaps and inferences” and piece in combination the disjointed fragments of growing older reminiscences and gory images to reach at a to blame verdict.

“It’s simply, ‘Throw it towards the wall, and one thing will stick,’” he stated. “However that doesn’t rely in a tribulation, no longer in California, no longer in the USA of The united states.”

DeGuerin said that Durst’s remedy of his spouse, whom he bodily and emotionally abused, was once “atrocious.” DeGuerin additionally conceded that Durst was once made to seem “truly dangerous” at the witness stand, from which he was once cross-examined for 9 days.

It was once transparent from Durst’s testimony, his attorney stated, that his “compass don’t level north. He’s atypical.”

However dislike, even hatred for him, or the affect that he lied at the witness stand, “doesn’t exchange for proof … that he killed Susan Berman,” DeGuerin stated.

At the witness stand, Durst stated he flew to California for a deliberate “staycation” with Berman in December 2000. When he let himself into her area, the usage of a key she had loaned him, he discovered her frame and panicked, he testified. Not able to name the police the usage of Berman’s landline, Durst stated, he wrote a be aware to the Beverly Hills Police Division, telling them of a “cadaver” at Berman’s cope with.

Susan Berman's home

Susan Berman was once discovered useless within this Benedict Canyon house in 2000.

(Francine Orr / Los Angeles Occasions)

In a while prior to her demise, Durst, whose circle of relatives owns a few of Ny’s maximum iconic and treasured constructions, had despatched Berman two exams totaling $50,000. Prosecutors implied that Berman, having grown destitute close to the tip of her existence, was once leveraging a final asset — her wisdom of Kathie’s demise and the coverup she organized — to lean on Durst for cash.

Chesnoff stated the exams have been simply items to assist a pal who was once broke. “What assassin provides his sufferer $50,000 after which tells the police the place to seek out the frame?” he requested.

Chesnoff conceded that the protection couldn’t give an explanation for each and every thriller in his consumer’s curious existence. However “we don’t must end up Bob’s innocence,” he stated. “We don’t have any burden. They” — and he pointed to the prosecutors sitting in the back of him — “do.”

The prosecution is permitted to have the ultimate prior to the jury starts deliberating. Deputy Dist. Atty. John Lewin on Monday started his argument to rebut Chesnoff’s and DeGuerin’s statements. The jury is predicted to get the case at midday Tuesday.

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