Nutjob New York real-estate heir Robert Durst — the only suspect in the 1982 disappearance of his wife — shouldn’t be prosecuted for climbing the stoop of his estranged brother’s Manhattan brownstone, his lawyer said Tuesday.
Durst, 70, was busted for walking up a few steps of Douglas Durst’s home at 413 West 43rd St and staring into a surveillance camera for 24 seconds, prosecutors seeking a 15-day jail sentence said in Manhattan Supreme Court.
But simply using a stoop shouldn’t count as criminal trespassing, argued attorney Steven Rabinowitz before Manhattan Judge Steven Statsinger.
“Brownstone steps are normally something New Yorkers use every day,” he said. “They tie their shoes on the steps of a brownstone, have a cup of coffee on the steps of a brownstone.”
Prosecutors argued that Durst — who has threatened to kill his sibling — was told by a security guard not to come near several family members or their properties in April of 2012.
“He was told to stay away and he did not stay away,” said Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Lawrence Newman. “The recommendation in this case based on this defendant’s severe and extreme criminal history is 15 days in jail.”
A judge issued 13 orders of protection against Durst for fearful family members at a prior court appearance.
He remains the prime suspect in the disappearance of his wife, Kathleen McCormack, from their cottage in South Salem, Westchester. Her body was never found.
Durst was also questioned in the 2000 shooting death of Susan Berman, a friend of the couple who was set to talk to investigators.
He served roughly three years in prison in Texas for the 2001 killing and dismemberment of 71-year-old Galveston neighbor Morris Black. Durst was acquitted of murder, but convicted of hacking up the man’s body.
“There shouldn’t be one rule of law for Bob Durst and a different one for everyone else,” said Rabinowitz as he left the courthouse with his client home.