Durst Pleads Not Guilty to Murder in LA

Heir is accused of killing friend in 2000
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 8, 2016 12:01 AM CST
Durst Pleads Not Guilty to Murder in LA
In a March 17, 2015, file photo, New York real estate heir Robert Durst smiles as he's transported from Orleans Parish Criminal District Court to the Orleans Parish Prison after his arraignment on murder charges in New Orleans.   (Gerald Herbert)

Wearing a neck brace and seated in a wheelchair, looking pale and frail, real estate heir and documentary star Robert Durst pleaded not guilty to murder Monday, more than a year and a half after a live microphone recorded him muttering, "killed them all." The 73-year-old Durst entered the plea during a long-awaited appearance in a Los Angeles courtroom in the death of Susan Berman in 2000, the AP reports. Authorities say Berman was killed to keep her from talking to investigators looking into the disappearance of Durst's first wife. "I do want to say here and now, though, I am not guilty," Durst said in a standing-room-only courtroom packed with journalists. "I did not kill Susan Berman."

Durst's statement came after his attorney unsuccessfully argued to ban news media cameras from the courtroom. Prosecutors said they would not be seeking the death penalty against Durst. Durst, whose next hearing will be Feb. 17, was already a well-known figure in his native New York, but he became a national name when HBO aired the documentary The Jinx, which followed his life and cast suspicion on him involving several crimes. Los Angeles County prosecutors have been seeking to bring Durst to California since shortly after his arrest in March 2015. But he first faced a federal weapons charge in New Orleans, where he pleaded guilty and was sentenced to seven years in prison. (Read more Robert Durst stories.)

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