LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Attorneys for actual property scion Robert Durst, charged in Los Angeles with murdering his confidante Susan Berman in 2000, have requested a decide to declare that prosecutors “consulted, coordinated and collaborated” with filmmakers behind an HBO documentary collection who uncovered key proof within the case.
FILE PHOTO: New York actual property scion Robert Durst seems within the Los Angeles Superior Court docket Airport Department along with his protection lawyer Dick DeGuerin for a pre-trial motions listening to in Los Angeles, California, January 6, 2017 REUTERS/Mark Boster /Los Angeles Instances/Pool/File Photograph
Authorities arrested Durst in New Orleans on March 14, 2015, at some point earlier than the airing of the finale of the HBO documentary collection, “The Jinx.” Within the ultimate episode, Durst is heard muttering to himself off-camera within the rest room, “There it’s, you’re caught” and “Killed all of them, in fact,” after the filmmakers confronted him with potential proof. Prosecutors contended he killed Berman as a result of she knew an excessive amount of in regards to the 1982 disappearance of his spouse.
Durst’s attorneys on July 31 filed authorized papers, which haven’t been publicly disclosed however had been seen by Reuters, asking a decide to rule that the filmmakers aren’t entitled to authorized rights that protect journalists from having to disclose their sources and knowledge.
With out such protections, the filmmakers could possibly be pressured to reveal info they got here throughout in filming “The Jinx” to Durst’s attorneys that would assist in his protection, two authorized consultants mentioned.
Durst, 76, the multimillionaire grandson of a New York actual property tycoon, has pleaded not responsible to the homicide cost.
The authorized papers filed by Durst’s attorneys don’t search to suppress any proof the filmmakers uncovered for “The Jinx” that could possibly be used at trial, saying they weren’t at this level asserting the collaboration between filmmakers and prosecutors violated their shopper’s constitutional rights.
The decide can be unlikely to comply with suppress proof from “The Jinx” if protection attorneys requested it’s excluded from the trial, the authorized consultants mentioned.
“The truth that they (the filmmakers) had a recording which they received, there’s nothing flawed with sharing that with regulation enforcement. It’s proof in a homicide case,” mentioned Steve Cron, a protection lawyer not related to the case and a college lecturer.
A spokesman for prosecutors declined to debate the movement, saying in an electronic mail that any response would come within the type of their very own courtroom submitting.
Durst’s lawyer, Dick DeGuerin, in an electronic mail wouldn’t talk about the movement intimately. “I decline to publicly talk about our technique,” he mentioned.
Victor Kovner, an lawyer representing “The Jinx” director Andrew Jarecki, mentioned the filmmakers reached out to authorities as accountable residents solely after they completed all their interviews as a result of they’d found proof.
“At no time did any of the journalists obtain or reply in any strategy to any path by the prosecution, and we’ll be making that clear in (courtroom) papers that will likely be public in a pair weeks,” Kovner mentioned in a cellphone interview
HBO’s govt vice chairman for media and expertise relations, Nancy Lesser, mentioned in an electronic mail, “We don’t have a remark right now.”
The movement from Durst’s attorneys is among the many points anticipated to be mentioned at a courtroom listening to on Sept. three.
The filmmakers, in line with the protection movement, “consulted, coordinated and collaborated” with authorities way back to 2011 – 4 years earlier than the documentary aired. They offered prosecutors with a PowerPoint presentation of their findings earlier than Durst was arrested in 2015 and charged with murdering Berman, it mentioned.
“‘The Jinx’ was not the work of journalists,” Durst’s attorneys wrote within the movement. “It was ratings-seeking filmakers participating in police work.”
Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis; Enhancing by Invoice Tarrant, Leslie Adler and Jonathan Oatis