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Eccentric millionaire Robert Durst faces trial in friend's killing

Jury selection scheduled to begin on Wednesday.
Credit: AP
FILE - In this Friday, Jan. 6, 2017, file photo, real estate heir Robert Durst appears in a Los Angeles Superior Court Airport Branch for a pre-trial motions hearing in Los Angeles. Durst faces trial in the slaying of his best friend 20 years ago. Jury selection begins Wednesday, Jan.19, 2020, in Los Angeles. (Mark Boster/Los Angeles Times via AP, Pool, File)

LOS ANGELES — Jury selection begins this week in the case against New York real estate heir Robert Durst.

Durst is charged with killing a close friend in California, and an infamous murder case in Galveston, Texas could play a key role.

Durst has made headlines around Houston for decades, but an HBO documentary called “The Jinx” brought him national attention. 

Durst was born into a wealthy New York City family with some impressive real estate holdings.

In the 80s, his wife disappeared under mysterious circumstances and the case has never been solved. Then in 2000 Durst’s close friend, Susan Berman, was found murdered. 

Credit: AP
In this Dec. 21, 2016 file photo, Robert Durst sits in a courtroom in Los Angeles. Durst faces trial in the slaying of his best friend 20 years ago. Jury selection begins Wednesday, Jan.19, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, Pool, File)

Durst has claimed Berman told him just days earlier that police wanted to question her about the disappearance of his wife. In the wake of Berman’s murder, Durst moved to Galveston.

Just a year later in 2001, he was arrested in the grizzly death of his elderly neighbor, Morris Black. 

Durst and his high powered defense team claimed Black had been shot
accidentally and Durst only cut up the body and dumped it in Galveston Bay
because he panicked. 

The jury believed the story and Durst served only five years for jumping bail and evidence tampering.

Now as Durst heads to trial for the murder of Susan Berman, a judge is allowing Los Angeles prosecutors to present evidence in the Galveston case during this trial. 

Jury selection is scheduled to begin Wednesday.

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