LOS ANGELES (AP) — Robert Durst’s defense lawyer said Tuesday that the multimillionaire real estate heir found the body of the friend he is charged with killing.
The admission, made publicly for the first time, was the first glimpse of the planned defense for Durst, who is on trial for the 2000 killing of his best friend Susan Berman in her Beverly Hills home.
“Bob Durst did not kill Susan Berman, and he doesn’t know who did,” attorney Dick DeGuerin told jurors at the beginning of his opening statement. “He did find her body, shortly after someone had shot her in the back of the head.”
Durst’s attorneys had signaled they would take the approach during the run-up to trial, when they conceded that Durst mailed a note to authorities that had only Berman’s address and the word “cadaver” written in capital letters. Durst had long denied sending the letter.
“When Bob showed up and found her dead, he panicked,” DeGuerin said. “He wrote the anonymous letter, so her body would be found, and he ran. He’s run away all his life.”
DeGuerin said Durst had come to visit Berman for the Christmas holidays, which he did often, showing jurors a letter from years earlier where Durst told Berman affectionately of plans he had for spending the holidays together.
DeGuerin stopped there and did not go into detail on the defense’s account of Berman’s killing, shifting instead to the death soon after in Galveston, Texas, of Morris Black and the last time he represented […]