LOS ANGELES (AP) — The California murder trial of New York real estate heir Robert Durst is scheduled to resume before a jury in April after the multimillionaire rejected an offer Friday to let a judge decide his fate sooner.
The case had been set to restart in July after a four-month delay because of the coronavirus outbreak but defense lawyers had objected over health concerns for jurors, themselves and their 77-year-old client.
Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Mark Windham said he would resume the case April 12.
Windham had offered Durst the option of a bench trial at a July 17 hearing. He gave defense lawyers two weeks to consult with their client to see if he wanted to waive his right to a jury and let the judge rule after hearing the evidence.
Durst was acquitted of murder in the shooting death of an elderly neighbor in a rooming house in Galveston, Texas, in 2001. He said shot Morris Black in self-defense and then panicked and dismembered the body and tossed it out to sea in garbage bags.
All three killings were documented in “The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst,” an HBO documentary series first aired in 2015, which helped lead to his arrest.