December 12, 2014 / 12:37 AM / 4 years ago

New York real estate scion acquitted of trespassing on family property

Real estate heir Robert Durst appears in a criminal courtroom for his trial on charges of trespassing on property owned by his estranged family, in New York December 10, 2014. REUTERS/Mike Segar

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Robert Durst, scion of one of New York’s largest real estate empires, was found not guilty on Thursday of trespassing on property in midtown Manhattan owned by his estranged family.

Durst, 71, whose sometimes bizarre life inspired the Hollywood movie “All Good Things,” was accused of violating orders of protection obtained by some of his relatives, including his brother Douglas.

“I’m not spending my time running around 43rd Street wanting to shoot my brother,” he told media outside the courtroom after the verdict in his two-day trial. Douglas Durst is chairman of the Durst Organization, the family company.

Prosecutors failed to prove to the judge hearing the case in Manhattan that Durst knowingly trespassed on residential properties owned by the company despite a video showing him walking up the exterior stairs of one of them.

Durst is known for puzzling life twists that led him to be questioned but not charged in the mysterious deaths of his first wife in 1982 and a longtime friend in 2000.

A year later, after he was apprehended while living in Texas disguised as a mute woman, Durst convinced a jury he had fatally shot and dismembered an elderly neighbor in an act of self-defense.

In the latest proceeding, Manhattan Criminal Court Judge Ann Scherzer vacated the 13 restraining orders keeping Durst away from family members.

He now faces misdemeanor charges in Houston for allegedly urinating on a drugstore candy rack and cash register.

The Durst Organization oversees the lease and maintenance of One World Trade Center, the Western Hemisphere’s tallest skyscraper, built on the site of the twin towers destroyed in an attack by hijacked airliners on Sept. 11, 2001.

Editing by Frank McGurty and Peter Cooney

0 : 0
  • narrow-browser-and-phone
  • medium-browser-and-portrait-tablet
  • landscape-tablet
  • medium-wide-browser
  • wide-browser-and-larger
  • medium-browser-and-landscape-tablet
  • medium-wide-browser-and-larger
  • above-phone
  • portrait-tablet-and-above
  • above-portrait-tablet
  • landscape-tablet-and-above
  • landscape-tablet-and-medium-wide-browser
  • portrait-tablet-and-below
  • landscape-tablet-and-below