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Robert Durst murder trial: Fate of eccentric millionaire in hands of jury

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Durst is charged with the first degree murder of his close friend and confidante Susan Berman in their Beverly Hills home in 2000, hours before she was due to speak to investigators about the mysterious disappearance of his first wife, Kathleen McCormack Durst. last seen in 1982.

The defendant was in a wheelchair and wearing a baggy gray blazer and white shirt when the closing arguments ended and Judge Mark Windham sent the jury to the jury room. The nine women and three men began their deliberations shortly after noon local time.

Durst, 78, stepped in in his defense during the sensational trial in Los Angeles County Superior Court. He denied killing Berman and said he found her on the floor of her bedroom, fatally shot in the back of the head.

In closing arguments, prosecutor Habib Balian told the jury that the case was simple: Berman knew Durst had killed his wife and helped him cover it up, the prosecutor said.

Balian pointed to one of the strongest witnesses in the state, a longtime friend of Durst and Berman, Nick Chavin, who testified that the defendant had told him, “It was her or me,” referring to Berman. “I had no choice.”

“Those nine words sum up the whole case,” Balian told the jury.

McCormack Durst was pronounced dead in 2017. Her body was not found and no one was charged in this case.

Attorney Dick DeGuerin concluded by portraying his client as an ailing and unhappy old man who was vilified by prosecutors whose case was, at best, cumbersome.

“If you come to two or more reasonable conclusions as to where the evidence is leading you must say ‘not guilty’,” said DeGuerin.

He added, “If, like you must be, you’re still wondering, ‘What happened to Kathie? Where? When? As?’ Then there are well-founded doubts. You can’t guess. You have to be convinced beyond any doubt. ”

DeGuerin told the jury that they weren’t expected to like or even believe thirst – whose cross-examination exposed several lies he’d made over the years – but being a liar didn’t make him a killer.

“I think that from Bob Durst’s 14 days on the witness stand you can see that his compass is not pointing north,” DeGuerin said. “He’s unusual. And I don’t think you need a psychiatrist to tell you that.”

His testimony lasted three weeks

Prosecutors allege Durst shot Berman in the head to keep them from incriminating him when his first wife, Kathleen, disappeared in 1982. They say Durst confided in Berman that he killed Kathleen and that she helped him cover his tracks.

Senior District Attorney John Lewin, a cold case specialist for the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office, argued loudly and sometimes mockingly with thirst during his testimony.

On the witness stand, Durst denied having murdered his first wife and later Berman. But when cross-examined, Durst testified that if he had killed her, he would perjury himself.

Susan Berman and Robert Durst in the mid to late 1990s.

“Did you kill Susan Berman?” asked Lewin Durst, who sat a few meters further sunk in his wheelchair.

“No,” said Durst in a weak but emphatic voice.

“But if you did, you’d be lying about it, right?” asked Lewin.

“Right,” replied Thirst.

Lewin urged Durst to admit that he failed perjury five times during the trial, which was resumed in May after a 14-month delay due to the pandemic.

Durst’s testimony spanned three weeks, with much of the cross-examination turned into a controversial sparring with Lewin.

Lewin and Durst first met in a New Orleans prison cell in 2015 after Durst agreed to a three-hour interview without his attorneys present, making potentially harmful claims and complaining about his many physical ailments.Real estate tycoon Robert Durst, accused of killing his close friend, takes a stand

There was little physical evidence of Berman’s unexplained death. There were no eyewitnesses and no murder weapon.

An important piece of evidence was the so-called “corpse note”, a cryptic letter to the police with Berman’s address and the word “corpses” in capital letters, which led detectives to her corpse.

In the 2015 HBO documentary The Jinx, Durst said the letter could only have been sent by Berman’s killer. Defense attorneys had previously denied Durst wrote the note, and so did they vain tried to exclude handwritten evidence about it from the trial.

The filmmakers confronted Durst with another letter he had once sent to Berman, handwriting almost identical to the “Corpse Note”. In both, Beverly Hills was misspelled as “BEVERLEY”.

In a judicial file late last year, the real estate mogul’s lawyers reversed course and admitted that Durst wrote the anonymous note. “That doesn’t change the fact that Bob Durst didn’t kill Susan Berman,” DeGuerin said at the time.

He has been acquitted of murder once before

Defense attorneys David Z. Chesnoff (left) and Dick DeGuerin (right) align Robert Durst's wheelchair during the opening statements of his murder trial on May 18, 2021.

Durst’s decision to take a stand on his own murder trial had worked for him in a previous case.

In 2003, Durst testified in Texas that he fatally shot and killed a neighbor, Morris Black, in self-defense, and admitted he had his body cut up with surgical precision and disposed of in Galveston Bay. He said he did so in a panic while prosecutors claimed he was trying to steal the man’s identity and avoid the investigation into his wife’s disappearance.

The Texas jury, who heard Durst posing as a dumb woman while he was hiding in Galveston, accepted his self-defense claim and acquitted him of the murder.

Durst’s second murder trial is another chapter in an unusual life that reached mass audiences through the miniseries “The Jinx”.

The trial of Robert Durst, the subject of the crime documentary

He was arrested in New Orleans the night before the show’s final episode aired. In his final moments, Thirst walked into the bathroom seemingly without realizing that his microphone was still on, and made a series of comments that became infamous.

“There it is. You’re trapped, ”he said in a series of seemingly incoherent sentences. “He was right. I was wrong.”

“What the hell did I do? Killed everyone of course,” he said in what was widely interpreted as a confession by viewers. But transcripts of the audio recording in court showed the quotes had been spliced ​​and edited to stand in a different order and context, the New York Times reported. Durst said he was “high on meth” while the documentary was being recorded.

Durst’s health has deteriorated since the documentary was made. He is thin and stooped and speaks in a whisper. Thirst has bladder cancer and has undergone several surgeries, including placing a shunt in his head to relieve pressure on his brain.

Durst has long claimed he had nothing to do with his wife’s disappearance.

McCormack Durst was on her way to medical school in New York when she disappeared in 1982. Prosecutors said her disappearance was preceded by marital problems and physical abuse from thirst.

“He has been running from the truth for 39 years,” Balian told the jury last week. “Don’t let him run away from the truth anymore.”

CNN’s Stella Chan and Cheri Mossburg contributed to this report.

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Summit County’s real estate market is anything but easy for first-time homebuyers

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Leah Canfield, longtime resident and real estate agent for Coldwell Banker Mountain Properties, smiles outside a home in the Wellington neighborhood of Breckenridge on Saturday September 25th. Canfield recommends that first-time buyers take at least six months to find a property in the county.
Ashley Low / For the Summit Daily News

Rising prices, high inventory turns, and cash offers are all evidence that the Summit County’s real estate market has been hot for some time, but what has that done for first-time home buyers?

In the case of Dillon-based Alex Cole, it meant waiting up to seven months to find a property that met his minimum requirements and budget. Cole lived in Denver and had spent a few winters in the county before deciding to move. He was looking for a property that had to be within the county limits, within his budget, and in a quiet two bedroom area.

“It’s just been a puzzle since February,” said Cole. “I have a feeling you are starting to build your puzzle pieces. I knew it was Summit County. Now, considering my price, I had to find out exactly what area it was in? “

First, Cole said he searched Breckenridge before focusing on Wildernest and then finally Dillon Valley, where he recently bought a three bedroom, two and a half bath condo.

Leah Canfield, a real estate agent at Coldwell Mountain Banker Properties, said this was not uncommon. In fact, Canfield’s recommended buyers give themselves six months to find a property. To move the process forward, when using the Multiple Listings Service database, buyers should work closely with their agent to set realistic expectations before proceeding.

“I would recommend that you look up the MLS and get whatever has been sold in the last six months that meets your criteria and that is within your budget, and if two or three spots have been sold it means none There’s a lot out there, ”Canfield said. “That means they are looking for something that doesn’t exist.”

Cole closed his house in late September. According to the Summit County Assessor’s Office, the condominium was sold for $ 530,000.

Price is another factor that makes it difficult for first-time buyers to anchor themselves in the market. Andrea Perry, of Silverthorne, said she had lived in her family’s vacation home in Leadville for the past five years, which helped her save enough for a down payment. Even then, she said her parents had given her financial support to shut down.

“The only reason I could do this was to help my family,” Perry said. “The ability to rent a house from them and have my parents help with the down payment really made this possible, and a lot of people don’t have the resources to help them buy their first home. It’s a really difficult process. “

Perry said she was one of several offers vying for her two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment in Wildernest. She believes it was a letter to the sellers, along with a short tender period, that influenced her decision in her favor.

“I had offered her the price and wrote a letter saying that I was a local and a first-time home buyer, and I think all of that and the short offer period were the only reasons I was actually able to get the apartment,” Perry said .

Although writing a letter worked in Perry’s favor, Canfield said it falls into a gray area and some agents will try to prevent letters from being written and received as it could lead to discrimination lawsuits.

Perry said it was difficult to find something that would work for her from the inventory available. She looked for a two bedroom apartment with a washer and dryer and found one in Wildernest. The condominium was sold for $ 549,000, according to the Summit County Assessor’s office.

Of the first-time home buyers looking to get into the county’s real estate market, the majority are already living in the county, Canfield said. Canfield said she has heard of expanding families currently renting who are sometimes interested in buying a home, but it is difficult to save enough for a down payment due to the high rental payments. Some others who currently live in a house are hesitant to sell because it is likely that their house will be eaten up much sooner than they can find a new place.

As for the cheapest inventory in the county, the latest report from the Land Title Guarantee Company points to units in the Dillon Valley. The average transaction price for a unit here is $ 382,292. However, the prices for units in traditionally cheaper areas continue to rise. Canfield said A-frame homes in Blue River used to be considered affordable, but some of them hit $ 1 million. According to the Land Title report, the average transaction price for units in Blue River is $ 747,900.

There are resources available for first-time home buyers to help them get started. In addition to various federal programs, the Summit Combined Housing Authority offers three different down payment loan programs for Summit County residents. These loans are only available for main home purchases and require a 1: 1 match of up to $ 25,000.

Rob Murphy, executive director of the Summit Combined Housing Authority, said the organization typically provides three to seven loans a year, and this year has been quiet with just one loan. Murphy said he attributed this to low interest rates and the fact that not many are aware of these programs.

Even with programs like these, both Canfield and Cole said that first-time home buyers should be patient once they begin researching the market.

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NABOR® Economic Summit experts discuss migration and regulatory patterns

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NAPLES, FL – More than 300 REALTORS®, real estate professionals and local executives interested in Collier County’s economic health and its impact on the local real estate market attended in person or virtually on the Naples Area Board of REALTORS®. part (NABOR®) ninth annual economic summit, “A View from the Top”, on Tuesday, September 7th, 2021, at the Hilton Naples. Three top economists gave a qualitative insight into the factors influencing the economy and shared their analysis of the factors influencing growth and property sales in the near future.

The data-rich hybrid event began with a welcome message from NABOR® President Corey McCloskey, followed by remarks from event sponsor BJ Cottrell, who is the managing partner of the FIRPTA Group. Longtime summit moderator Jeff Lytle set the tone of the day by assuring attendees that they would get answers to questions about the impact the pandemic is having on the economy and whether it will continue to affect the housing market.

First, Dr. Brad O’Connor, Florida Realtors® chief economist and director of industrial data and analysis, takes the stage. After Dr. O’Connor had given a comparative overview of Florida and the local housing industry, Dr. O’Connor said data showed that the Florida luxury real estate market has improved more than any other price segment over the past year. He then referred to data from the United States Postal Service (USPS) which showed that New York had the highest number of residents who moved their permanent address to Florida in 2020. The USPS data also showed that new residents came mainly from urban cities and boroughs like Manhattan, Chicago, and Boston.

The presentation by Dr. O’Connor included a historical perspective of the price data. “Prices in Florida haven’t gone down in 10 years. But while the median closing price for single-family houses has apparently stabilized in recent months, the prices for condominiums have continued to rise. “

Dr. O’Connor added, “If all of the Florida homes were on the market right now, we would have an eight month inventory.” He quickly assured the audience that the current situation of house bank defaults does not have the same qualities as it did 10 years ago due to the stricter lending rules.

Dr. Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist for the National Association of REALTORS®, announced in a virtual presentation that the “work from home” trend will outlast the pandemic and predicted that it will continue to have a major impact on where people buy a home for years to come.

With a housing shortage in America, Dr. Yun points out that rents rose 8 percent over the past year. He also predicts that rents will continue to rise as house prices are also likely to continue to rise due to our inability to meet demand. In fact, he said, “A year ago home prices were 20 percent lower, so some buyers are being priced today.” Dr. Yun also revealed that for these prospective buyers, rental payment history is used as a factor in qualifying for a mortgage.

Dr. Yun predicts that property prices will continue to rise 5 to 10 percent in Florida and potentially up to 20 percent in the Naples area.

Most recently at the summit was Dr. Elliot Eisenberg, a political economist and celebrated public speaker who was a former senior economist with the National Association of Home Builders. Dr. Eisenberg, whose style of presentation brings humor into an often banal topic, made it unmistakably clear that “the above trend growth will continue until next year”. It showed several graphs that identified consumer behavior activity during the pandemic, including the increase in retail sales when all were in quarantine and how the service sector is expected to overtake retail consumption as the preferred way to spend money now as the Consumers are less reluctant to go to their homes.

Dr. Eisenberg said, “Under normal conditions, when you exit a recession, supply and demand will collapse. But not now. ”That’s because demand has skyrocketed as people are hungry to return to pre-pandemic consumer behavior, but the influential impact of the pandemic has resulted in all production being halted – both for the retail as well as for the service sector – and production cannot keep up.

Dr. Eisenberg said the stock market has averaged 10 percent annual return for the past 10 years, but predicts the average return could decrease to about 5 percent annually over the next 10 years. Importantly for REALTORS®, he said: “Household balances are spectacular. We want to spend and consume and do, it’s just that we can’t get people to do something [goods] and service [our needs]. However, if the [pandemic] the recession began, we were forced to stay home, and forced savings were created. As a result, these forced savings saved many people $ 25,000, which is why we saw an increase in first-time home buyers in 2021. “

In conclusion, Dr. Eisenberg, he doesn’t expect the Federal Reserve to hike rates before the end of 2022 – the Fed may be forced to hike rates before it wants to. “

The Economic Summit is a joint effort by the NABOR® Board of Directors, the Media Relations Committee and the Economic Summit Task Force, led by Rick Fioretti, Chair of the Economic Summit Committee.

NABOR® thanks its event sponsor The FIRPTA Group, technology sponsor Supra, program sponsor Stuart Kaye Homes, media sponsor SWFL Home Inspections, reception sponsor DR Horton and table sponsors: Gulfshore Insurance, Law Offices of Sam Saad III, Honc Industries, Old Republic Exchange, The National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP), Women’s Council of REALTORS®, and Keep Collier Beautiful.

NABOR® is located at 1455 Pine Ridge Road in Naples. For more information on the Economic Summit, please contact Marcia Albert at (239) 597-1666.

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What We Learned About Kylie Jenner’s Mansion From a Vogue Video

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Kylie Jenner– the reality TV star, beauty mogul and member of the Kardashian Jenner clan – recently invited Vogue magazine to their huge Los Angeles mansion to film an episode of their popular series “73 Questions”.

With a runtime of just over seven minutes, the video has received over 1.8 million views to date. It offers a couple of scoops for fans, including Jenner, who talks about her cravings for pregnancy, her thoughts about the funniest member of the family, and a discussion about the most boring item in her wardrobe (it’s the pajamas).

We were just happy to peek inside the chic, contemporary home that Jenner bought for $ 36.5 million last April and that she shares with her adorable daughter. Stormi. Her mother, Kris JennerShe also has a cameo in the video.

Kylie Jenner’s LA premises

(Makler.com)

As we reported, when Kylie bought the luxury apartment, the brand new build first hit the market in 2019 for $ 55 million.

With no buyers, the villa’s price fell to $ 49.5 million in February 2020. Two months later, Jenner landed a discounted deal.

The price tag for a 24 year old is astonishingly high, but she can also afford it. While she’s not technically a billionaire, she’s very close, according to Forbes magazine, which puts her net worth at $ 700 million.

A breathtaking connection

Located in the Holmby Hills area, the “extremely private, one-story modern property” provides an elegant oasis. Shielded by 12-foot stone gates that retreat into massive walls surrounding the property, Jenner can relax in her resort-like space.

On an area of ​​19,250 square meters, the layout comprises a total of seven bedrooms and 14 bathrooms. Security is built into the design, with its own guard house with its own bathroom and kitchen. Other luxurious highlights include a kitchen, two guest apartments and two additional guest suites with private terraces and entrances. A huge outdoor area has a projection screen and a home theater, a gym and a sports field for pickleball or basketball.

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Watch: Leonardo DiCaprio sells LA Tudor, which he bought from Moby

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At Casa Kylie

After Jenner opens the dark gray door and answered questions about breakfast, the camera follows her into the wide open, spacious living room.

The room is littered with comfortable sofas, a sitting area and a large potted plant. It opens to a central courtyard and connects the interior with the exterior.

“I love the energy of this house,” says Kylie.

She adds that at the moment she prefers “a night in” rather than a night out, and with this room it’s hardly a sacrifice.

After answering a few more family-oriented questions, she goes into the bar area of ​​the house, which is laid out with herringbone floor. Right next to it is the fireplace, surrounded by gray stone and flanked by sofas, ideal for cozy evenings.

Living room that opens onto the courtyard

(Makler.com)

Open kitchen

(Makler.com)

Formal dining room

(Makler.com)

Bar and entertainment area

(Makler.com)

Compared to the two-year-old listing photos, more green now adorns the living spaces.

Jenner then walks into the Instagram-enabled courtyard, which is outfitted with lawn, seating, and a pool. Stormi uses the swing.

swimming pool

(Makler.com)

Kylie then glides past the pool and we take a look at the outdoor dining area. When it comes to food, she reveals that her favorite food is sushi and that she nibbles on sweets.

Sports field and open-air cinema

(Makler.com)

Kylie then walks back into the open kitchen and family room, admitting she craves frozen yogurt and In-N-Out burgers, then ends the video.

A few adjustments to the formula

While the beauty mogul has swapped furniture for softer choices, she’s stuck with the neutral creamy palette, including what appears to be the same paint color on the walls.

The lighting seems to have been adjusted. Jenner decided to swap out some of the pendant lights and keep the sleek recessed lighting. Their modifications create a homely, but no-frills atmosphere.

It’s stuck to the floor-to-ceiling curtains, but we doubt it’s much needed. This airy connection works best as a huge space that connects indoor and outdoor spaces.

Despite being the youngest sibling in the Kenner-Kardashian family, Kylie stands out with her properties. She has carried out several real estate transactions over the past six years. In fact, she recently found a homesite at the Madison Club in La Quinta, CA, and allegedly bought a seat with the rapper for $ 13.5 million in Beverly Hills Travis Scott.

Jenner also recently launched a baby product line and swim line that she advertises to her huge following through her social media accounts. She currently has a staggering 270 million followers on Instagram.

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