The Jinx star Robert Durst pleaded not guilty to murdering his close friend and confidante Susan Berman during his appearance in a Los Angeles court on Monday, November 7, the Los Angeles Times reports.
“I do want to say here and now, though, I am not guilty,” Durst, 73, told the court, according to the L.A. Times. “I did not kill Susan Berman.”
The real estate heir is accused of fatally shooting writer Berman in December 2000, allegedly because she had information related to the disappearance of Durst’s first wife, Kathleen. At the time of Berman’s death, authorities had just reopened the investigation into Kathleen’s whereabouts and were preparing to interview her. Durst has long been suspected of foul play in Kathleen’s case, but her body has yet to be found and he has never been formally charged.
Last year, Durst was arrested in connection with Berman’s murder in New Orleans, where he was found with a firearm and marijuana. He was then sentenced to seven years and one month in prison for illegally possessing a firearm after being convicted of prior felonies.
The hit HBO docuseries, which debuted last year, investigated the deaths of Kathleen, Berman and Durst’s one-time neighbor Morris Black, who was killed, dismembered and thrown into a bay in Galveston, Texas, in 2001. Durst was living next door to Black, passing himself off as a mute woman at the time, and his lawyer, Dick DeGuerin, later successfully argued that Durst killed his neighbor in self-defense.
In the finale of The Jinx, Durst was caught on microphone seemingly admitting to the murders of all three people. “What the hell did I do? Killed them all, of course,” he was heard muttering to himself, comments which were caught on a hot mic while he was using a restroom.
DeGuerin, who is representing Durst again, told the L.A. Times that the trial for Berman’s murder will likely begin a year from now.