BENEDICT CANYON—The Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office announced that New York real estate heir Robert Durst. 75, was ordered to stand trial on Thursday, October 25 for the murder of his friend and confidant, Susan Berman in December 2000.
Durst was held to answer for murder with the special circumstances of witness killing and lying in wait by Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Mark Windham. He also faces gun use allegations. Durst is expected back in court on November 8 in Department 81 at 8:30 a.m. at the Los Angeles County Superior Court, Airport Branch.
Durst is charged with murdering Berman, on or about December 23, 2000, where her body was discovered in her Benedict Canyon home on Christmas Eve. The defendant was arrested in March 2015 by FBI agents in New Orleans.
Judge Windham found that statements by Berman, where she admitted to helping Durst with lying for his alibi in the death of his missing wife Kathie, were admissible pursuant to the forfeiture by wrongdoing doctrine.
According to reports, Durst was believed to be a suspect in the disappearance of his first wife, Kathleen Kathie McCormack in 1982 and the murder of his neighbor Morris Black who was killed in Texas in 2002. Durst filed a missing persons report for his wife after a friend contacted authorities multiple times. He was found guilty of dismembering Black, but the charges were later acquitted because authorities were not able to locate the victim’s head. He was investigated for the disappearance of his first wife, Kathleen McCormack in 1982. Body parts of Black were found floating in the Galveston Bay.
He was arrested in March 2015 in New Orleans in connection to Berman’s death and transferred to California in November 2016. Berman was found execution-style in her home.
Durst is the son of Seymour Durst and worked for his father’s real estate business for several years before his brother Douglas was appointed to run his father’s company. HBO aired the documentary “The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst” in 2015.
If convicted as charged, Durst could face life in state prison without the possibility of parole. The case is still under investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department’s Robbery-Homicide Division.