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Cops Want to Test Durst’s Gun

April 30, 2005

GALVESTON, Texas (AP) _ Police investigating a Los Angeles murder want to examine a gun belonging to millionaire real estate heir Robert Durst, who was acquitted of killing a Galveston man whose body he admitted cutting up.

Galveston County prosecutors filed a motion Friday seeking to release two guns belonging to Durst to authorities investigating the death of writer Susan Berman, a friend of Durst’s missing first wife.

Berman was killed in her Los Angeles home in 2000 as investigators were preparing to question her about the disappearance of Kathleen Durst. Robert Durst, who initially posed as a mute woman when he moved to Galveston, has not been charged in either Berman’s death or his former wife’s disappearance.

``It is my opinion that Susan Berman most likely knew her killer and that Robert Durst is a viable suspect in the murder,″ Los Angeles police detective Paul Coulter said in an affidavit filed with Friday’s motion.

The weapons were evidence in Durst’s murder trial in the death of his neighbor, Morris Black. Durst admitted cutting up Black’s body and tossing the parts into Galveston Bay but testified that he accidentally killed Black when they struggled over a pistol. He was acquitted in 2003.

Police want to compare a 9 mm bullet that killed Berman with the 9 mm pistol Durst owned at the time of her death, according to the affidavit.

Durst’s attorney, Dick DeGuerin, said Durst’s 9 mm pistol already had been ruled out as the murder weapon in Berman’s case.

Durst is serving a nine-month sentence in New Jersey after pleading guilty to federal weapons charges related to his six-week flight from Texas following his 2001 arrest on the murder charge.

Durst is the son of the late Seymour Durst, patriarch of the Durst Organization, a billion-dollar real estate company that owns several New York skyscrapers. He has been estranged from his family since the early 1990s.

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