Witnesses Expected To Testify In Robert Durst Case
- Author: Leroy Wright Feb 16, 2017,
Feb 16, 2017, 1:03
A preliminary hearing in the case is scheduled for October, which means Durst is not likely to stand trial until at least 2018. Prosecutors claim to have evidence that there is a "possible danger" to him, and hope to preserve his testimony in case he dies or is killed.
The prosecution and the defense sparred over how to describe the caller, with Deputy District Attorney John Lewin suggesting it might not have been Kathie Durst on the line and Robert Durst's lawyer getting Kuperman to say he had believed for 35 years that it was Kathie.
Durst is charged with murder in the 2000 death of a friend who was his unofficial spokeswoman after his wife went missing.
Durst was present again for Wednesday's hearing, walking haltingly into court wearing khaki trousers, a light-blue collared shirt and black-rimmed glasses.
Prosecutors in Los Angeles say they suspect Durst killed Berman, 55, because of what she knew about his wife's unsolved demise in 1982.
The first was Dr. Albert Kuperman, a former dean of a NY medical school where Kathie Durst was a student at the time of her disappearance. He has said that in 1982, he received a call from someone who identified themselves as Kathleen Durst.
"That man kills witnesses ..." Kathleen Durst's body has never been found, though her family has asked that she be declared legally dead. "The witnesses in this case realistically, understandably are concerned about their safety". As Lewin interrogated Durst, Durst told him that the makers of The Jinx believed Berman actually made the call.
The murder charge against Durst includes the special circumstance allegations of murder of a witness and murder while lying in wait, along with gun use allegations.
Durst was arrested on murder charges based on evidence from "The Jinx", a six-part HBO documentary in which Dirst blabbed about himself and seemingly confessed into a microphone that he thought was off, saying: "What the hell did I do?"
Durst was also accused of killing his neighbor, Morris Black, whose torso was discovered in the Galveston Bay by a 13-year-old boy in 2001.
He was heard muttering into a live mic: "You're caught!"
Defense attorney Dick DeGuerin asked a Los Angeles judge Tuesday to exclude reporter Charles Bagli from hearing conditional testimony from a "secret witness" he previously interviewed.
During a subsequent jailhouse interview with Lewin, Durst said he was "on meth" while the documentary was being filmed and that he didn't heed his attorneys' advice not to be interviewed for the series.