Real Estate Heir Robert Durst Is Sentenced to Life for Murder

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Durst was convicted last month of first-degree murder for shooting Susan Berman in 2000

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Ms Burman’s family members addressed the court, describing her as a warm person who was deeply missed, followed by the sentencing.

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Sereb Kaufman said of his murder, “It has been a daily, soul-consuming and crushing experience.” Mr. Kaufman’s father was Susan Berman’s lover and considered himself her son.

Prosecutors said Mr Durst silenced Mr Berman to prevent him from indicting him in the reopened investigation into the 1982 disappearance of his wife in New York.

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Prosecutors said Ms Berman provided a fake excuse for Mr Durst when Kathy Durst disappeared.

Mr Durst testified that he did not kill any of the women, but said at cross-examination that he would have lied if he had.

Prosecutors also presented evidence that he intentionally killed a neighbor in Galveston, Texas, in 2001, although he was acquitted of murder after testifying to shoot the man in self-defense in that case.

Mr. Durst is the grandson of Joseph Durst, who founded the Durst Organization, one of Manhattan’s largest commercial real estate firms. His father, Seymour, took over the reins of the company and later handed over control to a younger brother, Douglas.

Robert Durst settled his share of the family fortune and was estimated by prosecutors to be $100 million.

Mr Durst’s lawyer, Dick DeGuerin, said they plan to appeal.

The trial began in March 2020 and was adjourned for 14 months as the coronavirus pandemic engulfed the US and courts were closed. It resumed in May with the jury reaching its verdict on 17 September.

Ms. Berman, the daughter of a Las Vegas mobster, was Mr. Durst’s longtime confidant, who was preparing to tell police that he provided a fake excuse for her after his wife disappeared in New York in 1982. .

Kathy Durst was never found. Robert Durst was never charged with a crime related to his disappearance.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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