On March 18, before the trial of Robert Durst restarted, Judge Mark Windham announced a shuffling of the jurors with two jurors leaving the trial.
Let’s see, did we move up our jurors yet? So we need, uh, so it should be alternate one should take seat six. Yeah. seat thirteen, we’re gonna, uh, we’re gonna upgrade you a little bit to see number six. Yes. Please move over to number six. That helps us keep track of you. And then alternate number two in seat fourteen would take seat number five.
Based on Crime Story reporters notes of the voir dire, the departing jurors are:
Juror 5: An Asian-American male who appears to be in his 30s, works as a financial analyst and was clear and concise in his answers during voir dire.
Juror 6: A soft-spoken Asian-American male also in his mid-30s, who works in management services at a University.
Juror 5 was replaced by an Asian-born male who works in software, and Juror 6 was replaced by an Asian-American woman who works as a business analyst. There were also two alternates who were dismissed leaving the trial with only seven alternates.
Below is Crime Story’s up-to-date guide to the current sitting jurors in Durst’s trial. (Much of this information was originally printed in The People vs. Robert Durst Has a Jury by Chris Tarricone.)
Juror 1: A white, female, geographic information systems engineer in her mid to late 30s, she didn’t know much about the case and was familiar with the Durst name from the news. Asked about the prospect of reviewing evidence accumulated over many years tending to implicate and/or exculpate Durst, she said “it’s a lot to unpack.” She was called in just yesterday, February 26th, after replacing a dismissed juror.
Juror 2: A white, male, lead software engineer in his early 30s, this charismatic and talkative midwesterner got to the point quickly when being questioned by the defense and prosecution. He said he “just doesn’t know enough about the case to be biased.” Juror 2 originally stated that he didn’t think circumstantial evidence could prove someone guilty but, like many, changed his mind after Deputy District Attorney John Lewin explained that circumstantial evidence can be just as reliable as direct evidence. He has been in the box since last week.
Juror 3: A black, middle-aged male, this retired Special Agent for the Office of Inspector General and the FBI described his work in counter-terrorism as well as investigating people who “stole money from the government.” He has served on a jury in two prior murder trials. The defense complimented his “fabulous hoodie” commemorating the lives of Kobe and Gianna Bryant. Juror 3 felt “discomfort serving as a juror” due to his past experience of “getting the bad guys.” But Lewin clarified that a juror’s job isn’t about getting a “bad guy” but determining whether, in fact, Durst was one in this case. Juror 3 then said he believed he could do that impartially. Juror 3 has many friends in law enforcement and Lewin asked if he could view potential law enforcement witnesses as “humans who can be untruthful sometimes.” He said he could, and would be able to consider their testimony honestly and fairly.
Juror 4: An Asian woman who appears to be in her early 30s, she had not seen “the Jinx” but said she knew a lot about the case based on what colleagues have told her. She believes that Durst “probably” murdered Morris Black despite a Texas jury having ruled that he was innocent of murder in that case. Lewis outlined that the jury in Texas found that Durst killed Morris Black in self-defense, and that self-defense is not murder. She understood the distinction and agreed. Lewin discussed with the jury that they are in no way bound by the jury’s determination in Galveston and that their responsibility is to evaluate the evidence themselves and come to their own conclusion. Juror 4 also expressed concern about Durst’s wealth getting him out of legal situations throughout his life.
Juror 5: An Asian-born male who works in software.
Juror 6: An Asian-American woman who works as a business analyst
Juror 7: An Asian woman who was born and raised in the Philippines with shoulder length brown hair, and who appears to be in her mid-40s. Juror 7 works as a nurse at the VA Hospital, and first entered the box on February 20, making her one of the earliest jurors. She recounted for the court an incident in which a relative was assassinated in her native country. Like many jurors, she originally discounted the validity of circumstantial evidence. However, after an exchange with Lewin she came to understand that circumstantial evidence “is not automatically any less reliable than direct evidence.”
Juror 8: A white, female, bespectacled poet appearing to be in her 60’s, retired from a career at Southern California Gas. Her late husband was a reserve LAPD officer and psychologist. She did not feel her association with LAPD or her understanding of psychology would bias her in any way. Given the choice, she would not serve, but understands that the United States system of justice relies on juries. When asked whether or not Durst’s age and infirmities automatically caused her to believe that he could not have committed the murders involved in the case, Juror 8 revealed that an elderly family member had been convicted of molesting members of her family.
Juror 9: A woman appearing to be in her late 20’s, this juror says she found Durst to be a “charming psychopath” in “The Jinx” and that he “came off as a gentle grandpa-type.” This prompted Lewin to ask if she felt she had a “special affinity” for Durst. She replied “no” with a laugh which was joined by Durst and his defense team. Referring to her “charming psychopath” comment, she added, “I think he’s probably more the second part than the first.”
Juror 10: A middle-aged, retired, white female teacher who lived extensively in Japan, this juror has remained in seat 10 since the beginning of jury selection. She listened intently, and despite a herniated disk that makes sitting uncomfortable, Juror 10 was often seen smiling.
Juror 11: A middle-aged Asian woman, this Clinical Pharmacist has served as a juror before. She was seated in the box toward the end of jury selection and was not asked many questions.
Juror 12: A female doctor in her 30s who works as a pathologist, she described herself as “patient” and said she “interprets results carefully.” Like some other jurors, she stated on her questionnaire that defendants should “not hide behind the fifth amendment” and said “if you’re being accused of something, wouldn’t you want to say something about it?” After an exchange with Chip Lewis, she revised her opinion on a defendant’s right to remain silent.