Robert Durst Pleads Not Guilty To Murder Charges From 2000
Almost a year after the popular HBO documentary The Jinx premiered, the subject of the series, Robert Durst, pleaded not guilty to murder charges from 2000. On Monday, the son of a wealthy Manhattan real estate tycoon told a Los Angeles courtroom that he is not guilty of the fatal shooting of a longtime friend, Susan Berman, whose untimely death occurred more than decade ago. Over the years, Durst has been a suspect in multiple murder cases and the disappearance of his first wife Kathie McCormack, all of which were investigated in the a six-part HBO series.
"I do want to say right here and now, I am not guilty," Durst told the courtroom sitting in a wheelchair and wearing a neck brace and orange prison slippers, according to The New York Times. "I did not kill Susan Berman."
Durst was arraigned in Los Angeles on Monday on charges of allegedly killing Berman by shooting her once in the back of the head in her Benedict Canyon home to reportedly stop her from revealing any information or secrets regarding his missing wife's disappearance in 1982. The 73-year-old's trial is expected to begin in February of next year and he is not eligible for bail while he awaits trial.
In March of 2015, Durst was arrested in New Orleans on a murder warrant issued in Los Angeles and subsequently pleaded guilty to a federal weapons charge in a separate case and was ultimately sentenced to seven years in prison. On Friday, he was transferred to Los Angeles to enter his plea regarding the the 2000 murder trial.
"Bob Durst didn't kill Susan Berman," Durst's attorney Dick DeGuerin told reporters on Monday, according to ABC News. "He’s ready to end all the rumor and speculation and have a trial."
Ever since his first wife disappeared more than two decades ago, the multi-billionaire has faced years of speculation regarding his involvement in her whereabouts, Berman’s murder, and the death and dismemberment of his neighbor, Morris Black. He was never found guilty in any of those cases.
Durst has long maintained that he is innocent in the fatal shooting Berman and claimed that Black’s death was the result of self defense and said that he was drunk when he cut up Black’s body before dumping it in Galveston Bay in Texas, which a 13-year-old boy would later discover while he was fishing.
Despite the many years of suspected troubling behavior, in the finale the HBO series he was the subject of, Durst can be heard revealing a different story than he had told in courtrooms. "What the hell did I do?" Durst asked himself. "Killed ’em all, of course."
While Durst waits for this murder trial to start and more fresh speculation and conversations to begin, according to The New York Times, his attorney said that the The Jinx is a "sensationalized docudrama." And even if Durst is not convicted of murdering Berman, he will still serve time in prison, as he still needs to finish his sentence for the gun charge he pleaded guilty to. At the earliest, Durst will be 80 years by the time he's released.