LOS ANGELES (CBSNewYork/AP) — A former close friend of New York real estate heir and documentary figure Robert Durst says the millionaire heir’s best friend confided in him that Durst killed his first wife.

Nathan Chavin testified Thursday in Los Angeles that Susan Berman told him Durst admitted killing his wife.

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Durst has pleaded not guilty to murder in the fatal shooting of Berman. Authorities suspect Durst killed Berman to keep her from talking to Westchester County prosecutors about the disappearance of Durst’s first wife, Kathleen, in 1982.

The body of Kathleen Durst has never been found.

Chavin says he didn’t believe Berman when she told him. He says he asked Berman how she knew and she said that Durst told her.

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Chavin says Berman mentioned that they had to protect Durst.

Before he could be brought to California, Durst faced a federal weapons charge in New Orleans. He pleaded guilty to that charge and has begun serving a seven-year prison sentence. He was brought to Los Angeles County jail from a federal prison in Indiana in late 2016.

FBI agents followed Durst to a New Orleans hotel on the eve of the finale of “The Jinx,” HBO’s six-part documentary about Durst, his wife’s disappearance, Berman’s death and the death and dismemberment of Durst’s neighbor Morris Black in 2001. Durst was formally arrested early on the day of the broadcast, before viewers saw him in a washroom, still wearing a live microphone and muttering, “There it is. You’re caught! What the hell did I do? Killed them all, of course.”

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