Real estate mogul Robert Durst pleaded not guilty on Monday to the murder of his friend Susan Berman. Durst, the subject of the 2015 HBO documentary series "The Jinx," has been the subject of law-enforcement scrutiny and public interest since the disappearance of his wife in 1982.
"I did not kill Susan Berman," he told Judge Mark Windham at the Los Angeles County Airport Courthouse. Durst appeared at his arraignment in a wheelchair and a neck brace. His lawyer complained that Durst was hard of hearing, and had to lean over to repeat some of what was said, despite the judge's offer of hearing assistance aids.
Monday was Durst's first day in court in Los Angeles. He was arrested last year on weapons charges when he was found in a hotel in New Orleans. After being found guilty in that case, he was assigned to a medical unit in a federal prison in Indiana. He was extradited to L.A. on Friday, where he will remain for this trial. Durst's next scheduled court appearance is Feb. 15.
The prosecution said it will not seek the death penalty.
Durst's story is not unworthy of its television special. Berman was discovered in her Benedict Canyon home after being shot on Christmas Eve in 2000. This happened shortly before investigators were planning on interviewing Berman about the disappearance of Durst's wife, Kathleen.
Durst also stood trial in 2003 for the slaying of Morris Black when he was living under an assumed identity as a mute woman in Galveston, Texas. Although Durst was acquitted, facts from the 2003 trial showed that he dismembered Black's body. Durst was found not guilty of murder after five days of deliberation by the jury, according to the Los Angeles Times.
At the end of the "The Jinx," Durst is caught on a hot mic saying, "What the hell did I do? Killed them all, of course."
5:01 p.m.: This article was updated with details from the arraignment.