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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

Robert Durst Not Guilty of Murder in Neighbor's Death

Aired November 11, 2003 - 12:44   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Kurt Sistrunk is the lead prosecutor in the case against Robert Durst. Robert Durst found not guilty only within the past hour of so of murdering his next-door neighbor. We heard earlier from the defense attorneys. Let's listen in to the prosecution and hear what their reaction is.
(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

KURT SISTRUNK, PROSECUTOR: ... looking for every piece of evidence we could to give to this jury and gave them everything that we could. Yes, we're disappointed. But, I'll tell you what, we also recognize that this jury system, although by everyone may not be agreed to be perhaps the best one, but it is in our mind the best system we have. And we're not the jury, and we certainly respect their verdicts as we have in the past in their verdicts.

We've done our job. We presented what we could. But yes, we remain disappointed in the verdict.

QUESTION: Do you think Robert Durst is a threat still?

SISTRUNK: Robert Durst is a threat? Well, I think the judge is going to be deciding that in our bond hearing.

QUESTON: (OFF-MIKE)

SISTRUNK: Well, let me tell you about abuse of corpse. The reason that was never charged, that's a Class A misdemeanor. That's punishable at the most by a year in the county jail. That's never has been a consideration. The only charge that we really felt we were appropriate in going with was the murder, and that's the one we took to the grand jury, the murder charge.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE)

SISTRUNK: Mr. Durst is not going to be invited to my house for any reason at all.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE)

SISTRUNK: Well, the general public I think is going to judge this in their own way. But my personal concerns and my legal concerns are going to be addressed in this courthouse. And the results that come from that we're going to live with and we'll deal with that and accept those, whatever they may be.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) SISTRUNK: Well, the general public wasn't back in the jury room. And again, I'm going to defer those answers to the jury. They can answer what they dealt with in deciding. They followed the law of the court, they followed the law appropriately, and they made their decision based on the facts of the case. And that's something that we accept and live with.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE)

SISTRUNK: You want to answer that one?

JOEL BENNETT, PROSECUTOR: I think the main thing they wanted was the head. So other than that, without trying to be too flippant, that was their main concern.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE)

SISTRUNK: If Jeanine Piro (ph) comes into our case, we've added something that's doesn't need to be into our case. All of a sudden, her investigation is open for examination. And I'm not going to interfere with any district attorney's investigation in whatever case they may have ongoing. We weren't going to invite her down here to be part of this case in any way.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE)

BENNETT: That's not right, if I may. Let me answer that. That's a non-issue in this case. If we get off into that, we're going down a rabbit trail that doesn't need to be gone down.

It doesn't have anything to do with how or why Morris Black was killed and what happened to him. And so that was a non-issue in the case and we tried the keep the jury focused on what was relevant. And that was the actions of Mr. Robert Durst.

BLITZER: Joel Bennett and Kurt Sistrunk are the two prosecutors. They lost this case. They tried to convince a jury Robert Durst murdered his next-door neighbor, Morris Black. The jury came back about an hour or so ago and said Robert Durst not guilty of that charge.

The prosecutors clearly expressing their disappointment. But they say they will live with that decision, obviously the decision of the jury in Galveston, Texas.

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