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Robert Durst sentenced to life for murder of best friend

Robert Durst
Posted at 12:03 AM, Oct 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-14 19:03:32-04

New York real estate heir Robert Durst has been sentenced to life in prison without a chance of parole for the murder of his best friend more than two decades ago.

He was convicted in Los Angeles Superior Court last month of first-degree murder for shooting Susan Berman point-blank in the back of the head at her Los Angeles home in December 2000.

Prosecutors claimed during the trial that Durst silenced Berman because she provided a phony alibi for him after his wife vanished in New York in 1982.

Durst has denied killing Berman and even took the stand in his own defense during the trial to do so.

Durst's ex-wife, Kathleen McCormack Durst disappeared in 1982, and her family has filed a wrongful death suit against Durst. The district attorney in Westchester County, New York, recently reopened the case into her disappearance as a murder investigation, The Guardian reports.

According to The Los Angeles Times, the McCormack family requested the judge's permission to speak at Thursday's sentencing. The Associated Press reports that the judge denied the family's request. Attorney Robert Adams told the AP that the family was "outraged."

The defense is currently seeking a new trial in part because the judge postponed the case for 14 months during the pandemic.

Durst's case received international attention in 2015 after HBO docuseries "The Jinx" profiled his life and the violent and questionable deaths of many of his loved ones, including Berman.

The day before the finale of the series aired, Durst was arrested in connection with Berman's murder.