Robert Durst, the subject of the HBO documentary series The Jinx, will spend the rest of his life behind bars. After being found guilty in the murder of Susan Berman, a close friend of Durst's who allegedly helped him cover up the disappearance of his first wife Kathie McCormack Durst, last month, he was sentenced on Thursday. The 78-year-old Durst sat in a wheelchair during the hearing and did not speak in court. He will not be eligible for parole.
Members of Berman's family spoke during the hearing, recalling how their lives were changed by her death. "I was robbed, and my beautiful son was robbed, of an absolutely extraordinary brilliant person whose life was savagely taken," her cousin Deni Marcus said, reports the New York Times. Another cousin, Dave Berman, spoke through tears, telling the court he "visited her and told her she could rest easy, that justice has been done." He also asked Durst to tell Kathie's family where her body is.
The defense plans to appeal the sentence. They had asked for a new trial, but Judge Mark E. Windham denied the request. Durst himself did not address the judge and read the words spoken in court on a tablet.
Last month, a Los Angeles jury found Durst guilty of first-degree murder for killing Berman in 2000. According to prosecutors, Durst killed Berman because she knew too much about Kathie's disappearance. Prosecutors said Durst killed Kathie, although he has never been charged in her death. They also said Durst killed Morris Black, a Texas man Durst befriended in 2001. In 2003, Durst was acquitted of killing Morris, claiming self-defense.
"When Bob Durst killed Kathie, he killed Susan and Morris as well because once that happened, once he did that, there was no turning back," Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney John Lewin told the jury at the start of the trial, which began last year, reports PEOPLE. "Bob Durst is a person who is going to protect and take care of Bob Durst."
Durst denied being in Los Angeles at the time of Berman's death, but his attorney Dick DeGuerin admitted during the trial that Durst did have plans to be with her during the holidays. However, Durst still insisted he did not kill her. "When Bob showed up and found her dead he panicked," DeGuerin told the court. "He wrote the anonymous [cadaver] letter so her body would be found, and he ran. He ran away all of his life."
After Durst was found guilty, Kathie's family noted that justice was served for the Berman family, but Kathie is still waiting. They called on the Westchester County, New York District Attorney to charge Durst with Kathie's murder. The Westchester D.A. recently announced plans to impanel a grand jury in the case.
"Not a single day goes by that we do not think about our beautiful, smart, and kind sister, Kathleen. Today, more than ever before, it is clear that she was murdered by Robert Durst in Westchester County, New York on January 31, 1982. The evidence is overwhelming," Kathie's family said in a statement to PEOPLE. "Although Durst has now been rightly convicted of killing Susan Berman, who helped him conceal the truth about Kathie's death, the McCormack family is still waiting for justice. Kathie is still waiting for justice."