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Robert Durst Declines Catheter Help from Prosecutor Because It Would ‘Inhibit Me from Making Him Look Like a Fool’


Alleged murderer Robert Durst‘s catheter has become a matter of prosecutorial fixation in the wealthy and elderly defendant’s ongoing trial. Durst, 78, on Tuesday declined prosecutor John Lewin‘s recurring and insistent offers to change the collection bag which serves as a receptacle for the Durst’s urine. The defendant, who stands trial in the 2000 execution-style killing of friend Susan Berman, 55, at her home in Beverly Hills said the assistance would inhibit him from making Lewin “look like a fool when he cross-examines me.”

Durst followed up with a comment indicating that he meant that he would feel bad about making Lewin look like a “fool.”

Durst is legally accused only of killing Berman, but Lewin has been arguing that Berman’s death was tied to other alleged violent behaviors spanning decades. Berman allegedly helped the defendant cover up the disappearance and murder of his missing wife Kathleen McCormack Durst in 1982. Robert Durst killed Susan at her home in 2000 when she was going to reveal to authorities what she knew about Kathleen, according to the prosecution’s version of events.

The defendant fled to Texas, where he shot and killed neighbor Morris Black while hiding out in the wake of Berman’s death. Durst’s attorneys have argued that he only discovered Susan’s body and simply fled in a panic. One of those lawyers, Dick DeGuerin, successfully secured an acquittal for Durst in Black’s death — all by claiming the shooting was an act of self defense. Durst was only convicted of dismembering Morris, whose head has never been found.

The defense maintains that Durst now suffers from bladder cancer and must wear a catheter and an attached bag in court. Lewin has asserted that the defense is trying to sandbag the trial and that Durst, who has a history of manipulative behavior, is playing up his health woes to seek sympathy from the jury. The defendant denied those accusations in open court on Monday.

Durst’s attorneys have announced that their client plans to take the stand and testify in his own defense.  Judging by his statements on Tuesday, Durst seems enthusiastic about being under oath.  Meanwhile, Lewin is preoccupied with the optics of the catheter bag, accusing Durst on Monday of exposing it so jurors could see it.  On Tuesday, he asked the court to make sure someone — if not him or the defense — empty the bag during the lunch hour whether or not Durst wants it.

“It does need to be done,” he said, bringing up Durst’s diagnosis of bladder cancer.

[Screengrab of Durst with attorney David Z. Chesnoff via Law&Crime Network]

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