Robert Durst Sentenced to Life in Prison Without Parole for Murder of Susan Berman

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Robert Durst was sentenced to life in prison without parole on Thursday for the first-degree murder of his friend, Susan Berman, 20 years ago.

The 78-year-old real estate heir was convicted in September of killing Berman, who was found dead in her home in December 2000. Durst has been accused of killing Berman so that she would not speak to authorities regarding the 1982 disappearance of his first wife Kathie McCormack Durst, whose body has never been discovered.

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Durst was convicted of a special circumstances murder, meaning that he could only be sentenced to life in prison without parole or receive the death penalty. The Los Angeles District Attorney’s office did not pursue the death penalty for Durst. Durst’s attorney, Dick DeGuerin, filed a motion for a new trial, which was denied by Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Mark Windham.

Berman’s body was found after authorities were alerted to a “cadaver” at Berman’s home via a letter. During his trial, Durst admitted to writing the letter, but still insisted he was not responsible for her death. Interest in the case was revived following the 2015 release of HBO’s documentary “The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst,” which linked Durst to three murders including Berman, Kathie Durst and Morris Black. Durst has never been charged in connection to Kathie Durst’s death and was acquitted in Black’s case. The documentary ended with an apparent confession, as Durst, under the impression that his mic was off, said: “I killed them all, of course.”

According to the Los Angeles Times, prosecutors in Westchester County, N.Y. are soon planning to call a grand jury to consider charges against Durst for the disappearance of Kathie Durst.

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