News Releases

October 25, 2018: Real Estate Heir Ordered to Stand Trial for 2000 Murder of Friend

Contact: 
Greg Risling, Assistant Chief
(213) 257-2000

New York real estate heir Robert Durst was ordered to stand trial today for the murder of his close friend and confidante 18 years ago, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Durst (dob 4/12/43) was held to answer for murder with the special circumstances of witness killing and lying in wait by Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Mark Windham. Durst also faces gun use allegations.

Durst returns for arraignment at 8:30 a.m. on Nov. 8 in Department 81 of the Los Angeles County Superior Court, Airport Branch.

Deputy District Attorneys John Lewin, Habib Balian, Eugene Miyata, Ethan Milius and David Yaroslavsky are prosecuting the case.

Durst is charged with murdering his longtime friend, Susan Berman, on or about Dec. 23, 2000. Her body was discovered in her Benedict Canyon home on Christmas Eve. The defendant was arrested in March 2015 by FBI agents in New Orleans.

In addition to the holding order binding Durst for trial, Judge Windham found that the statements by Berman, in which she admitted to assisting Durst with the fabrication of his alibi for the death of his missing wife Kathie, were admissible pursuant to the forfeiture by wrongdoing doctrine.

If convicted as charged, Durst faces a possible maximum sentence of life in state prison without the possibility of parole.

Case SA089983 remains under investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department’s Robbery-Homicide Division.