Robert Darst’s murder case was better in two years. His sentence will be relatively brief and may include the lack of fireworks that erupted between the central prosecutor and the defense attorney.
The heir to New York’s golden estate faces life in prison without parole for the first-degree murder of his best friend Susan Berman.
“Now that the jury has found Woodnet, the sentence is clear,” said Lori Levinson, a professor at Livola Law School. “I’m not sure (the prosecutor) has much to say.”
Darst, 78, was convicted in Los Angeles Superior Court last month of shooting Berman Point in the back of the head at his Los Angeles home before Christmas 2000.
The trial began in March 2020 and was adjourned for 14 months because of the Corona virus outbreak in the United States and the courts closed. It resumed in May with a jury that reached its verdict on September 17.
Berman, the daughter of a Las Vegas convict, was a longtime loyalist of Darst who was preparing to tell police that he provided her with a fake alibi after his wife went missing in New York in 1982.
Kathy Darst was never found. Robert Dorst has never been charged in connection with his disappearance.
But after his conviction in Berman’s death, which relied on him to kill his wife, a New York prosecutor is now ready to prosecute him in his death. The man told the Associated Press on condition of anonymity.
Darst testified in the LA case, denying that he killed his wife or Berman, but said he would have lied if he had done so.
The family of Kathy McCormick Darst had hoped to testify in court on Thursday about their loss, but the prosecution rejected the request, according to emails sent to her lawyer.
Attorney Robert Abrams said the McCormick family was disappointed, and angry. Family members will not participate in the sentencing, he said.
“The family will not travel 3,000 miles to support some Hollywood production and will not be able to sit there and make statements that affect their prey,” Abrams said. “It’s not a movie where it’s a total spectacle. It’s his life, and he’s suffered for 40 years.
A spokesman for the district attorney’s office did not return a request for comment.
Levinson said it was questionable whether Kathy Darst was a victim of the Los Angeles case because Robert Darst was not charged with her murder. Allowing her siblings to speak during sentencing will create another issue for the appeal.
Defense attorneys plan to debate a new trial on Thursday, saying there is insufficient evidence to prove the case and that the judge’s 15 methods of error are outlined.
Levinson said the motion is primarily to protect appeals issues and potentially fail, although some of his claims could get the high court’s attention.
The defense said Judge Mark Wendham should have ruled wrongly when the jury was sent home and the case was adjourned. The length of the delay was unprecedented, he said.
Many other issues revolve around the confession of evidence, such as allowing prosecutors to testify that Darst killed a neighbor in Galveston, Texas in 2001, mutilated his body and threw parts into the sea. Darst was acquitted after testifying that Morris Blake pulled a gun on him and killed him in a gun battle.
He also objected to testimony and exhibitions showing that when Darst was arrested in New Orleans in 2015, he had a mask, fake identification, drugs, $ 40,000 cash and a loaded handgun. She was in her hotel room.
He also objected to showing the jurors a feature film based on Darst’s life and a six-part documentary, The Junks: The Life and Crimes of Robert Darst.
To limit the number of appeal issues, the prosecution could be more restrained in its sentencing presentation, Levinson said, especially when the prison term is already set.
After the sentencing of Deputy District Attorney John Lyon, a reporter asked what he had to say to Dorst.
Leon, who was aggressive and had frequent breakups with defense attorney Dick de Guerin in six years from arrest to sentencing, initially said he had nothing to say to the man he had been with for years. Was chasing
He then called Darst a “narcissistic psychopath” who killed his wife and had to keep killing her to hide.
“He’s 78. He’s been around a long time,” Leon said. “His life was long. You know, Kathy didn’t make 30. On balance, considering what he did, he got a lot more life than he deserved.”