A Los Angeles jury began deliberating Tuesday in the lengthy murder trial of New York real estate heir Robert Durst after a prosecutor described him as a “narcissistic psychopath” who needs to be held accountable.
Deputy District Attorney John Lewin told jurors in Los Angeles County Superior Court that Durst, a multimillionaire, had lived a privileged life in which he played by his own rules and only cared about himself. Lewin said he didn’t kill for pleasure but to resolve problems when backed into a corner.
“Bob Durst is not crazy. He’s not some nut job serial killer who goes around killing for the thrill of it,” Lewin said. “Don’t let this narcissistic psychopath get away with what he’s done.”
Robert Durst, 78, who was hunched in a wheelchair in a light blue sportscoat, has pleaded not guilty to a first-degree murder charge in the point-blank shooting of Susan Berman, his confidante.
Prosecutors say Robert Durst killed her in December 2000 at her home as she planned to speak with police about a phony alibi she provided for him when his wife vanished in New York in 1982.
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Lewin said Berman was killed because she was a witness. Prosecutors presented evidence of Kathie Durst’s presumed to kill to provide his motive and also introduced evidence from a Galveston, Texas, trial where he was acquitted of murder in the shooting death of a neighbor.
Durst had gone into hiding in Texas in late 2000 to avoid what he believed were imminent charges in New York when authorities reopened the investigation into his wife’s disappearance. He testified that Morris Black pulled a gun on him in Durst’s apartment and was shot in the head during a struggle for the weapon.