How would "dumping dismembered body" equal not guilty?

One of the joys of living in Houston is that fact the Robert Durst tends to make the front page of the Chronicle. I’m almost ashamed to say I haven’t been following it except for the headlines, but comments and statements like


would make me say to my lawyer, “Howza 'bout a plea? Huh?” Since he pleaded “Not guilty”, I can’t figure out (and the newspaper doesn’t make clear) what sort of defense he is going for. Can anyone come up with any sort of plausible (or even implausible) defense for this guy? I tend to think that the dismemberment part sort of negates the self-defense part or am I wrong?

From what I understand, yes, he’s going for self defense.

He claims Morris pointed a gun at his head and acting in self defense he struggled with him to get the gun away but that during the struggle the gun discharged, killing Morris.

He then panicked, fearing that the police would not believe his story (for the reasons you mentioned above) and tried to hide his crime by disposing of the body.

He’s acknowledged that fact he illegally disposed of a body but is trying to beat the murder rap by claiming that Morris was the instigator/agressor.

Personally, I think he’s guilty as sin and offed the guy because of a spat. The self defense scenario looks too conived.

Excuse me. I said “hide his crime”. What I meant and what he’s going for is “hide his act”, something far different.


Self defense or accident wouldn’t be negated by the dismemberment as a matter of law, although it would probably be a lot easier to prove self defense or accident had he, say, called the cops. All he has to prove is that he was in reasonable fear for his life when he killed the guy, or that it was the result of an accident from struggling for the gun. The dismemberment part can explained with “I thought nobody would believe me and I panicked”, if he can get a jury to buy it. Or on preview, whatlieu said. Stupid hamsters!


Sorry, the article I was quote from is my local paper.

Would the defense bring up something like “Self defense or accident wouldn’t be negated by the dismemberment as a matter of law” in jury selection? Maybe I would just make a bad juror, because once he said “I thought nobody would believe me and I panicked” came out of his mouth, “Yeah, right” would come out of mine.

I have no trouble believing that some-one could panic and try to hide a body.

But* dismembering* it? Nope, not buying that; I have trouble dismembering a dead plucked chicken.

Why did he rent the apartment disquises as a woman?

Exactly. Panicking and rolling up someone in the carpet I could understand. But dismembering implies cold bloodedness, malice and planning.

Self defense is the one thing that could get him off. I think his story has been manipulated to fit that defense.

oh, I remember this case now; it’s just going to trial now?

It pays to be rich.