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Robert Durst Giggles While Testifying About Drunkenly Dismembering Neighbor
The prosecution doubted Robert Durst's story that he downed a fifth of Jack Daniels before dismembering his former neighbor Morris Black.
Robert Durst laughed on the stand this week while testifying about dismembering his neighbor.
The prosecution questioned the disgraced real estate heir in Los Angeles Court on Monday after he testified that he dismembered Morris Black in 2001 after downing a fifth of Jack Daniels, the New York Daily News reports.
“At 150 pounds, how on earth could you have downed 20 to 30 shots of whiskey, walked to and from your Galveston apartment and then dismembered Morris Black’s corpse?” Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney John Lewin asked Durst.
Durst shot Black before disposing of his dismembered remains in Galveston Bay. Durst claimed he shot Black in self-defense and he was acquitted of murder in 2003. He pleaded guilty to tampering with evidence and bail jumping a year later.
“I remember taking big chugs from the bottle of Jack Daniels, and I remember spitting up a whole bunch of times. And I remember taking a lot of showers,” Durst, now 78, replied to the prosecutor, according to the New York Daily News.
Holding an actual fifth of Jack Daniels in the courtroom, Lewin then asked, “Are you telling this jury that you believe you could have ingested that amount of liquor and then dismembered a corpse with saws and an ax, is that your testimony?”
It was at this point that Durst began giggling before turning to look at the jurors. He then said in a loud voice, “That is my testimony,” the Daily News reports.
Monday marked the 12th day of testimony at his murder trial in which he stands accused of killing his close friend and confidante Susan Berman in 2001. Prosecutors say Durst shot Berman execution-style because she had information about the 1982 disappearance of Durst's first wife, Kathleen McCormack Durst. Kathleen’s body was never found but she was declared legally dead in 2017.
While last week the presiding judge over the trial asked both sides to wrap up their questions for Durst, the accused killer’s testimony has only continued.
A jail call recording between Durst and his current wife Debra Charatan from 2015 was played in court on Monday, in which the pair discuss former district attorney Jeanine Pirro’s theory that Durst's estranged brother Douglas Durst helped him “dispose” of Kathleen’s body.
“I love it,” Durst says in the call, according to the Daily News.
Douglas, who runs the billion dollar Durst Organization in New York, testified earlier this year that he feared his brother wanted to kill him.
“Yes, she [Pirro] thinks that Douglas helped you,” Charatan says in the call.
“I might decide to, depending on how things go, to confirm her thoughts,” Robert replies.
When Lewin asked Robert to “please explain that clip,” he stared straight ahead for more than 20 seconds without saying a word, according to the Daily News.
“Mr. Durst, isn’t it true that that clip right there is basically a confession that you killed your wife and that depending on how things go, you might decide to take Douglas down with you? Isn’t that what you were saying?” Lewin asked.
Robert denied that he was confessing to killing Kathleen and said “I thought this trial was about Susan Berman.”
He has recently admitted on the stand to lying about his life and said he might lie again about “certain very important things.”
This seemed to include whether or not he killed Berman.
“I did not kill Susan Berman,” he testified. “But if I had, I would lie about it.”
Robert has insisted his testimony had been truthful, but confessed to previous fabrications. He admitted that he did lie to police in 1982 about his wife Kathleen calling him from her apartment in Manhattan the night she was last seen alive. He said the lie was meant to get detectives off his back.
Furthermore, he admitted on the stand to lying in the past about the so-called "cadaver note" written to police to alert them to Berman’s body. While he denied writing it in the past, including famously to filmmakers of the 2015 HBO docuseries “The Jinx,” he confessed on the stand that he was the penman. He said he wrote it out of panic after discovering Berman's dead body, believing that if he had simply called authorities, they would recognize his voice and think he was responsible.
Jury deliberations are expected to begin on Sept. 14.