Durst homicide trial: Prosecutor says cadaver observe proves guilt; protection closing arguments to renew Monday
The notorious cadaver observe in Robert Durst’s homicide trial must be his undoing, the lead Los Angeles prosecutor argued throughout his closing remarks within the 56-day trial Thursday.
That’s as a result of, within the 78-year-old Durst’s personal phrases, it’s one thing “solely the killer may have written.” The observe additionally has a outstanding resemblance to an envelope Durst despatched greater than a yr earlier than the slaying – with the identical misspelling of “Beverley” Hills and scrawling handwriting.
Durst is accused of killing his longtime pal Susan Berman, who was shot at the back of the pinnacle in her Los Angeles residence in 2000.
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“You possibly can ignore every thing else on this case,” Deputy District Legal professional Habib Balian advised the court docket. “And if we spent in the future making an attempt this to you, right here’s what you’ll have: You’d have a observe despatched by the killer that solely the killer may have written that the defendant has admitted solely the killer wrote. And the defendant has stipulated, ‘I wrote the cadaver observe and envelope that solely the killer may have written.’”
On this nonetheless picture taken from the Legislation &amp; Crime Community court docket video, actual property inheritor Robert Durst solutions questions whereas taking the stand throughout his homicide trial on Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2021, in Los Angeles County Superior Courtroom in Inglewood, Calif. (Legislation & Crime Community by way of AP, Pool)
The opposite envelope, despatched kind Durst to Berman a yr earlier than the slaying, was found by the makers of an HBO documentary sequence on Durst – “The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst.”
Durst testified at trial that as an alternative of calling 911 to report discovering her physique, he mailed investigators a observe with the phrase “CADAVER” scrawled above Berman’s handle – the identical handle on the envelope he’d allegedly mailed her a yr prior, in the identical handwriting with the identical misspelling.
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“That alone is past an inexpensive doubt with out something extra,” Balian stated.
The prosecutor additionally famous the ultimate line of “The Jinx” sequence, through which Durst was overheard on a scorching mic saying he “killed all of them” throughout a toilet break.
“Why does he say that?” Balian requested the jury. “As a result of, you have seen the proof, it is overwhelming: He did kill all of them, after all.”
Durst’s protection lawyer, Dick DeGuerin, accused prosecutors of “beating up on a sick, previous man who can’t defend himself” in his personal closing argument and advised the jury that Durst’s being a liar doesn’t make him a killer and that there isn’t any proof that Durst killed Susan Berman.
The protection workforce is anticipated to complete its closing argument on Monday.
Investigators obtained the cadaver observe after Berman’s slaying, main them to her stays. The existence of the older envelope had not been identified to investigators earlier than the “The Jinx,” Balian stated.
“They discovered proof, they usually turned it over, they usually made it public,” he stated of the documentarians.
Throughout a number of days of testimony in his personal protection, Durst advised the court docket that he had written the cadaver observe and that his earlier denials about it have been lies.
He stated it might be too laborious to fathom that Susan Berman’s killer was not the identical one who despatched the observe.
Prosecutors share picture of Robert Durst (left), Susan Berman (center) and Kathie Durst (proper) at Robert Durst’s Aug. 11 homicide trial. (Fox Information)
“I’ve issue believing it myself,” he testified. “It’s very tough to consider, to just accept, that I wrote the letter and didn’t kill Susan Berman.”
Durst has denied killing Berman and maintains that he doesn’t know who did.
He testified that he walked into her residence and located her lifeless on the ground in a puddle of blood. He stated he tried calling 911, however her telephone didn’t work, and he used a payphone close by, then hesitated about utilizing his voice on a 911 name that may be recorded and determined to ship the observe as an alternative.
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“I made a decision that as an alternative of calling 911, I’d ship police a letter telling them that Susan was lifeless in her home,” Durst stated.
“The Jinx” explored three deaths of individuals near Durst – his spouse, Kathie Durst, Berman, and his former Texas neighbor, of whose killing he was acquitted on the grounds of self-defense. He was charged in reference to the taking pictures demise of Berman after the stunning sequence finale.
Berman was shot at the back of the pinnacle from shut vary in her Los Angeles residence in 2000, and prosecutors allege that Durst killed her as a way to silence her earlier than she may give police details about Kathie Durst’s disappearance at 29 years previous. Robert Durst has not been charged in connection together with her disappearance.
Fox Information’ Stephanie Pagones, Laura Prabucki and The Related Press contributed to this report.