A Westchester County grand jury indicted the disgraced estate heir Robert Durst for allegedly murdering his wife in 1982 on Monday, about six weeks after a jury convicted him of the murder of his longtime friend Susan Berman in 2000.
Durst, 78, was sentenced to life in prison on Oct. 14 for shooting Berman at close range in her Los Angeles home.
Prosecutors allege Durst murdered Berman because she was telling authorities she provided a false alibi to Durst after his first wife, Kathie, disappeared in 1982.
A grand jury in Westchester County charged Durst with second-degree murder on Monday after charges were filed against him on Oct. 19.
All criminal cases require a major jury trial to continue in New York unless the defendant waives the claim.
“When Kathleen Durst disappeared on January 31, 1982, her family and friends were left with pain, anxiety and questions that have contributed to their unwavering pursuit of justice for the past 39 years,” Westchester County District Attorney Miriam E. Rocah said Monday. .
“We have taken a big step forward in the pursuit of justice for Kathie Durst, her family and victims of domestic violence everywhere.”
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An attorney representing Kathie Durst’s family did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday.
Kathie Durst disappeared from the couple’s home in South Salem, New York, in January 1982 at the age of 29, but her remains have never been found. She was declared legally dead in 2017.
New York State Police Investigator Joseph Becerra, who reopened the investigation into Kathie’s death in 1999, testified during the trial that he wanted to interview Berman, but never got the chance because Robert Durst killed her.
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Durst appeared in a wheelchair during large parts of the trial for Berman’s murder and was put in a ventilator after being diagnosed with COVID-19 last month.
Dick DeGuerin, Durst’s lawyer, did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.