UPDATE: 12:20 PM, May 24 – The Public Information Office has just issued a Media Advisory confirming the CRIME STORY report from Thursday night. The release says:
“The trial in the People v. Robert Durst case, SA089983, is tentatively scheduled to resume on Monday, July 27. Judge Mark E. Windham is moving the trial to the Inglewood Courthouse, Department 1, located at One Regent Street, Inglewood, 90301. This larger courtroom will better enable the Court to implement social distancing protocols for the health and safety of the parties, jurors, witnesses, media and the public, and court staff in accordance with state and local health department guidelines.”
The entire release is pictured below:
ORIGINAL REPORT: May 21, 10:05 PM: CRIME STORY has learned that the murder trial of Robert Durst for the murder of Susan Berman, will resume on July 27 in Department 1 of the Inglewood Courthouse.
Judge Mark E. Windham suspended the proceedings due to the COVID-19 public health emergency in mid-March after four days of opening statements and two days of witness testimony. The trial was taking place in Department 81 of the Los Angeles Airport Courthouse.
Judge Windham will hear motion arguments in Department 81 beginning on June 23. Among the motions that will be argued are the defense’s motion for a mistrial and the prosecution’s motions seeking special accommodations for elderly non-principal out-of-state witnesses.
However, according to our sources, the Judge has decided that a bigger courtroom is needed to allow for the social distancing necessary to keep the jury, the litigants and the courthouse staff safe from transmission of the COVID-19 virus. The new courtroom will be in Department 1 of the Inglewood Courthouse, which is currently undergoing modifications intended to optimize that safety. Jurors will be expected to appear in that courtroom on July 27 ready to resume their hearing of the prosecution’s case.
Obviously, all of these plans are contingent upon the Judge deciding to deny the defense’s motion for a mistrial.
It is not yet clear what – if any – accomodations will be made for the public to observe or for the media to report on the trial.
CRIME STORY has reported extensively on the Durst Trial, publishing more than 20 pieces on the case over the past year. You can find links to all of those stories here.