Houston attorney insulted by questions over Durst verdict

By Robert Arnold, Investigative Reporter, rarnold@kprc.com
Published On: Dec 24 2013 02:46:47 AM CST
Updated On: Aug 21 2013 07:38:35 AM CDT

Citing a single unnamed source, the Times published a report on Friday stating the FBI was looking into whether jury tampering had a hand in Durst's acquittal.

HOUSTON -

All it took was one paragraph in a New York Times article to ruffle the feathers of famed Houston defense attorney Dick DeGuerin.

"It's insulting in the first place," said DeGuerin.

In 2003, DeGuerin successfully defended New York real estate heir Robert Durst against accusations he murdered and dismembered his neighbor in Galveston.

Citing a single unnamed source, the Times published a report on Friday stating the FBI was looking into whether jury tampering had a hand in Durst's acquittal.

Durst, who lived a bizarre, troubled life, posed as a mute woman when he settled into a Galveston boarding house in 2000. A little more than a year later, Durst was arrested and charged with murdering Morris Black. Durst was accused of shooting Black, dismembering him and disposing of the body in Galveston Bay in September of 2001.

Durst admitted to shooting Black, but claimed Black attacked him and the gun accidentally went off during a struggle. Durst said he panicked after the shooting and disposed of the body.

In November of 2003, a jury in Galveston found Durst not guilty of murder.

"Clearly the jury understood the manner in which he disposed of the body didn't change the way in which the death occurred," said DeGuerin. "There wasn't any jury tampering, that's just ridiculous."

The Times article stated questions about the Galveston verdict came as FBI agents in Los Angeles were looking into the 13-year-old unsolved murder of a close friend and former classmate of Durst.

When contacted by Local 2, an FBI spokesperson stated she could neither confirm nor deny whether any investigation was underway.

A call placed by Local 2 to the Galveston County District Attorney's Office was not returned.

DeGuerin called the Times article tabloid fodder.

"I can tell you Bob Durst spent a lot of money on his defense and it went to the lawyers and we kept it," quipped DeGuerin. "We weren't about to share any of that money with a juror."

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