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Durst Takes the Stand: Jeff Wolf Discusses Cross-Examination on Law & Crime Network

In recent weeks, it was unclear if Robert Durst would take the stand—a move that would give the prosecution a chance to cross-examine the frail 78-year-old real estate heir accused of murder.

On the stand, Durst denied killing his friend Susan Burman, who prosecutors allege was about to reveal to investigators Durst’s involvement in the 1982 disappearance Kathleen McCormack Durst.

Last week, the exchange between Durst and Deputy District Attorney John Lewin, who is known for long and aggressive cross-examinations, was unusual to say the least. Lewin’s reproach for Durst was nearly palpable as he repeatedly berates Durst over the same questions.

In a recent interview on Law & Crime Network, Denver defense lawyer Jeffrey Wolf discusses the negative implications of bullying a witness, even one as unlikable as Robert Durst.

“Argue it in closing!” explained Wolf. “You’re not going to get Bob Durst to raise his hands and say: You got me! Liar! Guilty! Where’s the jail cell? He’s not going to do that…you can’t control this witness, and he [Lewin] seems to think he can control every witness…and…the jury doesn’t like that. A trial is as much about whether the jury is buying what you’re selling because they like you and they believe you as it is anything else. The more you look like you’re bullying people on the stand…it can come back to bite you.”

Watch the full video for extended commentary from Jeff Wolf or for more details about the Robert Durst murder trial.