A look back at Robert Durst’s history in Galveston

Nov. 11, 2003: At Durst's two-month trial, and after five days of deliberation, the jury finds Robert Durst not guilty of murder.

HOUSTON – Jury selection began Wednesday in California for the murder trial of Robert Durst.

Durst is accused of killing his best friend, Susan Berman, in December 2000. Prosecutors contend Durst shot Berman in the back of the head to silence her from telling investigators what she knew about the 1982 disappearance of his wife in New York.

Jury selection could take about two weeks to complete.

It’s not the first time the 76-year-old real estate heir has faced accusations of murder.

In 2003, Durst stood trial in Galveston in connection with the 2001 slaying and dismembering of his neighbor. Here’s a look at that case.

Durst moves to Galveston

Authorities have said they believe Durst moved to Galveston while he eluded investigators who were looking into his wife’s disappearance. While there, he assumed the identity of a deaf and mute person and befriended his neighbor, Morris Black.

Morris Black killed

In 2001, parts of Black’s dismembered body were found floating in Galveston Bay. Durst was arrested and charged with murder.

Durst’s first murder trial

Durst stood trial in 2003 in connection with Black’s death.

He admitted to dismembering Black’s body but claimed he shot Black in self-defense.

The jury ultimately acquitted Durst of murder, but he was sent to prison for five years in 2004 after pleading guilty to evidence tampering.

He was given credit for time served and was released from jail on parole in 2005. He was sent back to jail for less than a year after he violated the terms of his parole.

About the Author:

Aaron Barker has been a senior digital editor at KPRC 2 since 2016. As a meteorologist, he specializes in stories about the weather. He has covered Hurricane Harvey, the Astros first World Series win, the Santa Fe High School shooting, the ITC fire and Tropical Storm Imelda.