durst110816.jpg

Real estate heir Robert Durst speaks during an appearance in a courtroom in Los Angeles on Monday, Nov. 7, 2016. Durst pleaded not guilty to murder Monday in the death of a friend who authorities said Durst wanted to keep from talking to investigators looking into the disappearance of his first wife. | Kevork Djansezian/Pool photo via AP

New York heir Durst pleads not guilty to murder in L.A. court

SHARE New York heir Durst pleads not guilty to murder in L.A. court
SHARE New York heir Durst pleads not guilty to murder in L.A. court

LOS ANGELES — Wearing a neck brace and seated in a wheelchair, looking pale and frail, real estate heir and documentary star Robert Durst pleaded not guilty to murder on Monday, more than a year and a half after a live microphone recorded him muttering, “killed them all.”

Durst, 73, entered the plea during a long-awaited appearance in a Los Angeles courtroom in the death of Susan Berman in 2000.

Authorities say Berman was killed to keep her from talking to investigators looking into the disappearance of Durst’s first wife.

“I do want to say here and now, though, I am not guilty,” Durst said in a standing-room-only courtroom packed with journalists. “I did not kill Susan Berman.”

Durst’s statement came after his attorney unsuccessfully argued to ban news media cameras from the courtroom.

Prosecutors said they would not seek the death penalty against Durst.

Durst was already a well-known figure in his native New York. But he became a national name when HBO aired the documentary “The Jinx,” which followed his life and cast suspicion on him involving several crimes.

Los Angeles County prosecutors have been seeking to bring Durst to California since shortly after his arrest in March 2015.

But he first faced a federal weapons charge in New Orleans, where he pleaded guilty in April, then began serving a 7-year prison sentence in Indiana.

The arrest came just as the final episode of “The Jinx” was airing. The HBO documentary examined alleged ties to the killing of Berman and the death and dismemberment of his neighbor Morris Black in 2001.

Durst testified that he killed Black in self-defense and was acquitted of murder.

Durst’s attorney, Dick DeGuerin, said Monday that Durst has been wanting to face the Los Angeles charge for the past year and a half.

“We’re glad to be here, glad to get the proceedings underway,” DeGuerin said. “Bob is not guilty. He did not kill Susan Berman, he doesn’t know who did and he’s eager to go to trial.”

He declined to answer questions from reporters, including inquiries about his client’s health. In September, he said Durst was a cancer survivor, had brain surgery for hydrocephalus and had two operations to fuse neck vertebrae, the most recent in mid-July.

Prosecutors declined to comment.

Gloria Allred, a prominent attorney, told reporters that she was speaking on behalf of a woman who thought of Berman as a mother and is still devastated by her loss.

“She has been waiting a lot longer than Robert Durst’s attorneys for this day to happen,” Allred said. “She wants to have justice in this case.”

Durst, an estranged member of the family that runs 1 World Trade Center in New York, will have a hearing on Feb. 17.

FBI agents tracked Durst to a New Orleans hotel on the eve of the finale of “The Jinx.” Durst was formally arrested early on the day of the broadcast, before viewers saw him in a washroom, still wearing a live microphone and muttering, “There it is. You’re caught! What the hell did I do? Killed them all, of course.”

The Latest
The $19.5 million PCC Primary Care Pavilion will offer a gym, dance center, demonstration test kitchen, community meeting spaces and a community garden and urban farm to Austin residents to help lower the life expectancy gap.
“I’m a big believer in earning stuff,” Keuchel said.
The shooting happened at the Warwick Allerton Hotel, officials said.
“The individual who’s in custody right now has five carjacking arrests on his record in the last two years. You could argue he never should have been on the street in the first place,” Ald. Brian Hopkins (2nd) told a packed house at a community safety meeting Monday evening.
The state will hold the Buffalo shooting suspect accountable for this act of terror. The politicians and propagandists propagating the lies and the hate surely won’t consider themselves responsible.