Durst Murder Trial: Prosecutors declare witnesses unavailable due to COVID-19

Posted at 8:51 PM, April 30, 2020 and last updated 9:00 PM, April 30, 2020

By Court TV Staff

Los Angeles County prosecutors filed a motion to declare out of state witnesses unavailable due to the COVID-19 pandemic in the murder case against New York real estate heir Robert Durst.

Deputy District Attorney John Lewin gestures during the second day of opening statements of Durst’s murder trial at the Airport Branch Courthouse in Los Angeles Thursday, March 5, 2020. (Robyn Beck/AFP via AP, Pool)

In the motion, prosecutors argue four witnesses, who are over 65 and reside in New York and New Jersey, should not be required to fly to LA during the pandemic to testify. The witnesses already gave their sworn testimony on videotape. Therefore, prosecutors want to use the tapes instead of requiring them to travel to LA to testify in person.

Durst, 77, faces one count of murder for the 2000 killing of his friend Susan Berman. His trial began in March but was paused due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The motion is expected to be litigated on May 26 in the Los Angeles County Superior Court, Airport Branch.

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