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LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Los Angeles jury started deliberating Tuesday in the prolonged homicide trial of New York actual property inheritor Robert Durst after a prosecutor described him as a “narcissistic psychopath” who must be held accountable.
Deputy District Legal professional John Lewin advised jurors in Los Angeles County Superior Courtroom that Durst, a multimillionaire, had lived a privileged life in which he performed by his personal guidelines and solely cared about himself. Lewin mentioned he didn’t kill for pleasure however to resolve issues when backed right into a nook.
“Bob Durst is not crazy. He’s not some nut job serial killer who goes around killing for the thrill of it,” Lewin mentioned. “Don’t let this narcissistic psychopath get away with what he’s done.”
Durst, 78, who was hunched in a wheelchair in a light-weight blue sportscoat, has pleaded not responsible to a first-degree homicide cost in the point-blank capturing of Susan Berman, his confidante.
Prosecutors say Durst killed her in December 2000 at her dwelling as she deliberate to talk with police a couple of phony alibi she offered for him when his spouse vanished in New York in 1982.
Lewin mentioned Berman was killed as a result of she was a witness. Prosecutors introduced proof of Kathie Durst’s presumed killing to offer his motive and likewise launched proof from a Galveston, Texas, trial the place he was acquitted of homicide in the capturing demise of a neighbor.
Durst had gone into hiding in Texas in late 2000 to keep away from what he believed had been imminent prices in New York when authorities reopened the investigation into his spouse’s disappearance. He testified that Morris Black pulled a gun on him in Durst’s residence and was shot in the pinnacle throughout a battle for the weapon.
The protection challenged the energy of the proof introduced by prosecutors, arguing there was no proof of Kathie Durst’s demise and usually a scarcity of forensic and direct proof in the case.
They mentioned prosecutors did not show that Berman impersonated Kathie Durst to name in sick on the medical faculty she attended the day after her husband final noticed her. The decision made it seem she was nonetheless alive after Robert Durst had seen her.
“Everything’s been this theory but with no meat to the bone, no evidence,” protection lawyer David Chesnoff mentioned. “You know that what I’m telling you is real.”
Kathie Durst has by no means been discovered and nobody has been charged in her disappearance.
Jurors who had been empaneled in March 2020 after which took a 14-month break in the course of the coronavirus pandemic, heard 4 months of proof after the case resumed in Might.
Durst faces a life sentence if he’s convicted.
The protection claimed that prosecutors beat up a “sick, old,” defenseless man throughout 9 days of brutal cross-examination in which Durst admitted mendacity beneath oath and made quite a few damning admissions.
Amongst different issues, Durst testified he didn’t kill Kathie Durst or Berman, however mentioned he would lie if he had.
“I just hope when this is over, you let Mr. Durst be in a hospital of his choosing to live out whatever time he has left,” Chesnoff mentioned.
Lewin countered that Durst was solely outdated and feeble as a result of he had been capable of dwell a full life — in contrast to his victims.
“He’s up here, he’s old and he’s sick. He got to live to be old,” Lewin mentioned. “Kathie never made it to 30. Susan Berman, his close friend, horribly executed. Morris Black murdered and then dismembered. … He’s lucky to have gotten to live to be 78 to have the health issues he does. Because his victims and their families don’t have that same peace of mind.”