The murder trial of Robert Durst will resume next month after a yearlong delay, a judge ruled on Monday, which just happens to also be the eccentric real estate heir’s 78th birthday.
A judge denied a motion made by Durst’s attorneys seeking a mistrial due to the “extreme delay” caused by the pandemic. Instead, the trial will resume on May 17.
Jurors had heard six days of testimony before the trial was postponed last March.
Robert Durst, the real-estate heir and subject of the HBO docuseries “The Jinx” that aired recorded audio of him seeming to confess to killings, has pleaded not guilty for the 2000 murder of Susan Berman. His trial first began on March 4 but was soon postponed to April 6 due to the pandemic. By late March, a spokesperson for the Superior Court of California said that the proceedings would be delayed once again to May 26. The date had been postponed for a third time to June 23, and then again to July.
L.A. County Deputy District Attorney John Lewin said the prosecution believes Berman knew her killer, saying there were no signs of a struggle, no sign of a break-in and her purse and credit cards were still in the home. Lewin said, “Susan knew her killer. She freely and voluntarily admitted this person into her house.”
Durst was arrested in March 2015 by FBI agents in New Orleans, one day before the finale of HBO’s “The Jinx,” which chronicled Durst’s life and the death of three people close to him — McCormack, Berman and a neighbor in Galveston, Texas. He was not charged with the disappearance of McCormack and acquitted in the death of the neighbor.
Robert Durst was previously acquitted of murder in Texas after he said he killed and dismembered his neighbor, Morris Black, in self-defense in September 2001. He is also suspected of killing his first wife, Kathleen McCormack, who disappeared in New York in 1982 — however, Durst was never charged.