The Latest: Mystery witness was friend of victim, accused

AP News
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Posted: Feb 15, 2017 6:38 PM
The Latest: Mystery witness was friend of victim, accused

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Latest on testimony before any possible trial in the murder case against New York real estate heir Robert Durst (all times local):

3:35 p.m.

A mystery witness in the murder case against New York real estate heir Robert Durst murder case was a friend of the millionaire and the victim.

Nathan "Nick" Chavin arrived in a courtroom Wednesday with a private security detail.

Chavin says he met Durst through their friend, Susan Berman, who was killed in Los Angeles in 2000.

Durst has pleaded not guilty to murder in the fatal shooting of Berman.

The testimony comes in a rare hearing to preserve testimony of elderly witnesses and those who fear for their safety.

Chavin was one of two witnesses whose identities have been shrouded in mystery before taking the stand.

A prosecutor has suggested Chavin has information that could "bury" Durst.

Chavin says Durst had an open marriage and dated other women.

12:15 p.m.

A Los Angeles judge has denied a request to prevent a New York Times reporter from covering testimony against real estate heir Robert Durst.

Judge Mark Windham said Wednesday that defense lawyers had only presented speculation that reporter Charles Bagli would later be called as a witness in the murder case.

The defense says Bagli is friends with a "secret witness" to be called later and the journalist may be able to contradict his testimony. The defense did not want the unidentified witness to influence Bagli's potential testimony.

Bagli has written dozens of stories about Durst since his first wife vanished in 1982.

A lawyer for the Times and a prosecutor argued that Bagli was protected by a state law that shields journalists from testifying in court.