Real estate heir Robert Durst, who became a nationally reviled figure after an HBO documentary tied him to several killings, has pleaded not guilty to the fatal shooting of his friend, Susan Berman, 16 years ago.
Durst appeared in a Los Angeles court Monday, seven months after he pleaded guilty to a federal weapons charge in New Orleans and was sentenced to seven years in prison. According to Reuters, the 73-year-old wore a neck brace — he has undergone spinal surgery in Louisiana, his attorneys say — and sat in a wheelchair during the arraignment.
“I do want to say here and now, though, I am not guilty,” he told the judge. “I did not kill Susan Berman.”
In 1982 Durst’s first wife, Kathleen, disappeared. She has not been found and is presumed murdered. Prosecutors allege that Durst shot and killed Berman in 2000 because she knew about his role in Kathleen’s death.
Durst was also tried and acquitted for the murder and dismemberment of Morris Black, his Texas neighbor, in 2003.
The Jinx, an HBO documentary series, examined Durst’s connection to all three killings. In the final episode, Durst was confronted with a sample of his handwriting, which appeared to match a letter written by Berman’s killer. Durst, apparently unaware that his mic was still on, was later captured mumbling: “What the hell did I do? Killed them all, of course.”
Read the full story at Reuters.