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LOS ANGELES (AP) — New York real estate heir Robert Durst is charged with one count of murder, but will have to defend himself in three killings at trial later this year in California. Los Angeles prosecutors won a victory Tuesday in persuading a judge to allow jurors to hear that Durst killed a man in Galveston, Texas, in 2001, dismembered his body and tossed it out to sea.
Durst was acquitted of murder after testifying he shot Morris Black in self-defense, but prosecutors argued that Black’s death and the killing of Susan Berman in Los Angeles in 2000 were both part of an effort to cover up the slaying of Durst’s wife years earlier.
Man - Murder - Galveston - Deputy - District
“That man beat a murder in Galveston,” Deputy District Attorney John Lewin said. “He’s not going to get away a second time.” Durst, 75, faces trial Sept. 3 in Los Angeles Superior Court in Berman’s death. He has pleaded not guilty. Prosecutors contend Durst, who is reportedly worth $100 million, killed his first wife, Kathleen Durst, in New York in 1982 and disposed of her body. She was reported missing and has never been found.
Durst has denied any involvement in the disappearance of his wife, who is presumed dead. But he allegedly told Berman, his best friend, about what he did and she helped him cover up the crime for years, according to testimony at previous hearings.
New - York - Authorities - Case - Berman
New York authorities reopened the case in 2000 and planned to talk to Berman, but Durst got to her first, prosecutors said. He ambushed Berman in her home near Beverly Hills and shot her in the back of the head, prosecutors said. Durst, who inherited a fortune from his family’s New York City real estate empire, went into hiding in Galveston disguised as a mute woman living in a low-rent apartment.
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