LOS ANGELES – A frail-searching Robert Durst struggled to hear his legal professional as he took the stand at his murder trial – in a wheelchair, not a witness chair — and denied killing his ideal mate two decades back.
Durst, 78, looked exceptionally feeble and strained to communicate Monday as his attorney, Dick DeGuerin, took the risky shift of contacting a murder defendant to testify.
“Bob, did you destroy Susan Berman?” DeGuerin said to open up the testimony of the New York real estate heir.
“No,” Durst answered.
“Do you know who did?” DeGuerin requested.
“No, I do not,” answered Durst, who was envisioned to return to the stand on Wednesday.
Berman acted as Durst’s de facto spokesman just after the 1982 disappearance of his wife, Kathie, who was afterwards declared dead, even though no overall body was observed.
On the other hand, prosecutors contend that Durst shot Berman in the back of the head in her Los Angeles household in 2000 since she was about to reveal to investigators his involvement in that disappearance.
Prosecutors have been authorized to existing evidence that Durst killed his wife, though he has in no way been charged in her disappearance and has denied having something to do with it.
Durst was arrested on a warrant in Berman’s killing in New Orleans in 2015 on the eve of the airing of the closing episode of “The Jinx,” the HBO documentary sequence about him in which Durst made numerous seemingly damning statements.
The trial began in Los Angeles Exceptional Courtroom a lot more than a yr in the past, just before the coronavirus compelled a extended hold off.
Durst, who has bladder most cancers and many other conditions that he detailed from the stand, wore the brown jail attire he’s had on in courtroom for the previous handful of weeks of the trial. His attorneys reported he’s been not able to stand to set on a accommodate.
He struggled to hear the clerk when he was sworn in and DeGuerin as he asked queries, working with a pill that showed a reside transcription to assist him comprehend.
Prosecutors also have been allowed to current proof from a 2003 Texas situation, where Durst testified that his Galveston neighbor Morris Black was killed in a wrestle immediately after moving into his dwelling with a gun. In that trial, Durst explained chopping up and disposing of the human body, and the jury observed him not responsible of murder.
Durst invested a great deal of Monday’s testimony describing the delighted early decades of his relationship immediately after meeting his spouse when she worked at a dentist’s business just out of large college.
“Kathie was ecstatic. I was ecstatic. We ended up both of those incredibly significantly in adore,” Durst mentioned of their wedding working day, his 30th birthday, in 1973, calling a mild-brown suit shown in a photo “my hippie uniform.”
Eschewing the family members organization, he and Kathie in its place opened a small standard store in Vermont that sold health and fitness foodstuff and other provides.
“You could have any type of toothpaste you needed, as long as it was Colgate,” Durst said.
The retail outlet, he reported, was known as “All Fantastic Items.” That name was applied as the title of a movie centered on the couple’s daily life, with Ryan Gosling taking part in Durst and Kirsten Dunst playing Kathie. Clips from the 2010 motion picture have been played throughout the trial.
Durst also explained assembly Berman, a mobster’s daughter who grew up in Las Vegas, when both equally have been in graduate school at the College of California, Los Angeles in the 1960s. He claimed the two struck up a close, a long time-extensive friendship.
“We both equally had belief cash,” Durst claimed.
Comply with AP Enjoyment writer Andrew Dalton on Twitter at https://twitter.com/andyjamesdalton
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