New York real estate heir Robert Durst sentenced to life in prison for murdering his best friend

New York real estate heir Robert Durst was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for the murder of his best friend more than two decades ago.

Durst, 78, was convicted last month of first-degree murder in the Los Angeles Supreme Court for shooting Susan Berman in the back of the head at her home in December 2000.

Prosecutors said Durst silenced him to prevent him from indicting Berman in the reopened investigation into his wife’s 1982 disappearance in New York.

Prosecutors said that when Kathie Durst disappeared, Ms. Berman provided a false alibi for Durst.

Durst testified that he did not kill either woman, but said in cross-examination that he would have lied if he had.

Prosecutors also presented evidence that he deliberately killed a neighbor in Galveston, Texas in 2001, but in this case he was acquitted of murder after testifying that he shot the man in self-defense.

Durst is the grandson of Joseph Durst, who founded the Durst Organization, one of Manhattan’s largest commercial real estate companies.

His father, Seymour, took the reins of the company and later gave control to a younger brother, Douglas.

Robert Durst determined his share of the family fortune and was estimated by prosecutors at US$100 million.

Durst’s lawyer said they plan to appeal the sentence.

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