INGLEWOOD (CBSLA) — Judge Mark Windham Tuesday removed an alternate juror for reading material about the Robert Durst trial and sharing it with another juror.
“Clearly, she did violate her duty to the case,” he said.READ MORE: LA County Increases Water Usage As State Drought Conditions Worsen
The decision was made before opening statements began in the murder case against the 78-year-old real estate heir.
“I have never given an opening statement in the same case twice,” John Lewin, the prosecuting attorney, said.
Durst has pleaded not guilty to the shooting death of his friend Susan Berman in 2000. The case was featured in an HBO documentary and a fictionalized movie based on his life in which he was interviewed.READ MORE: Nearing Historic Strike Vote, Thousands Of Hollywood Workers Could Walk Off Sets Nationwide
And while prosecutors said Durst may look frail in court now, they contend he beat, and ultimately killed, his wife Kathie in 1982 — a murder they said led to the Berman’s death.
“Susan Berman was a witness to some kind of criminal conduct,” Deputy District Attorney John Lewin said. “And that Bob Durst killed Susan because of that.”
The prosecution said Durst changed his story before trial about a note that led police to Berman’s body in her Benedict Canyon home, but they said the motivation has always been the same — to cover up his wife’s murder.
“He didn’t kill her because he disliked her,” Lewin said. “He killed her out of survival.”MORE NEWS: LAPD Says Armed Robberies Have Become An Alarming Trend
The defense is expected to deliver its opening statement Wednesday.