Wealthy Manhattan real estate scion Robert Durst, a suspect in investigations of several slayings over the years, pleaded not guilty on Monday in a Los Angeles courtroom to a charge of murder in the fatal shooting 16 years ago of a close friend.
His arraignment came seven months after Durst, 73, the subject of last year’s HBO documentary series “The Jinx,” pleaded guilty in New Orleans to a federal weapons charge in a separate case and was sentenced to seven years in prison.
Durst was previously tried and acquitted for the 2003 killing and dismemberment of a Texas neighbor and was under investigation in the 1982 disappearance and presumed slaying of his wife, Kathleen, in New York.
He stands accused in Los Angeles Superior Court of fatally shooting Susan Berman, a writer and longtime confidante, on Dec. 23, 2000, because of what she knew about the demise of his wife two decades earlier.
Durst, wearing a neck brace, was rolled into Los Angeles County Superior Court in a wheelchair for the arraignment, during which Deputy District Attorney John Lewin said prosecutors would not seek the death penalty if Durst were convicted.
One of Durst’s lawyers formally entered a not-guilty plea on his behalf to a single count of first-degree murder. But Durst himself professed his innocence to the court moments later.
Asked by Judge Mark Windham whether he could understand the proceedings when defense attorneys complained Durst was having trouble hearing, the defendant said, “I hear fine now.”
He then added in a slightly quavering voice: “I do want to say here and now, though, I am not guilty. I did not kill Susan Berman.”
(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis in Los Angeles; Writing by Steve Gorman; Editing by Chris Reese and Jonathan Oatis)
Brian Williams compares Corey Lewandowski’s opening statement to the North Korean news lady
MSNBC host Brian Williams on Tuesday noted the similarities between former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski and North Korean news anchor Ri Chun Hee.
"Corey Lewandowski, the former Trump campaign manager who is now considering a Senate run in New Hampshire, testified before the House Judiciary Committee today," Williams reported. "It is likely his North Korean anchorwoman-quality opening remarks were meant were one viewer (Donald Trump)."
Ri, who has earned the nickname "Pink Lady," is known for her enthusiastic reading of government-approved news.
Watch the video below from MSNBC.
‘Train-wreck of a witness’: Analysts nail ‘obstructive’ Corey Lewandowski for proving the Democrats’ case
Political commentator Catherine Rampell disagreed with New York Times columnist Frank Bruni that the Democrats faltered during the hearing with Corey Lewandowski Tuesday. Former state and federal prosecutor Elie Honig called Lewandowski a "train-wreck of a witness."
She explained that Democrats had an extremely low bar: they had to prove Trump obstructed justice and that Corey Lewandowski gave one of the examples of such obstructions. In that sense, Rampell said they accomplished their goals.
"I don’t think this was a great day for Corey Lewandowski," she began. "This is a guy who went on TV and announced to the world -- apparently at the same time he is also trying to fundraise for Senate -- that he lies most of the time. Except when he's under oath."
WATCH: Ana Navarro keeps shouting down Trump booster — even as CNN host cuts to commercial
President Donald Trump cheered on his top Hispanic advisor Steve Cortes, who appeared before a New Mexico audience. Trump asked Cortes which he loved more, Hispanics or America, which prompted CNN's Ana Navarro to blast the president for racism. Meanwhile, Trump's latest CNN shill cried "political correctness."
"Look, I suspect he didn't want to offend Steve Cortes and I suspect Steve Cortes was not offended," Navarro said. "But really what a stupid thing to say. Right? To somehow ask the question about whether you love the country more than you love Hispanics -- they are one and the same."