Real estate heir charged with first-degree murder
Police raided millionaire heir Robert Durst’s home in Houston, Texas, on Tuesday, a day after he was charged with first-degree murder.
Dick DeGuerin, Durst’s attorney, confirmed that investigators were searching the home.
It was not immediately clear what they were looking for inside Durst’s 14th-floor condo, where he has lived for many years, CNN affiliate KTRK reported.
The raid comes days after FBI agents arrested Durst in a New Orleans hotel. The Los Angeles County District Attorney filed a first-degree murder charge against him on Monday, accusing Durst of shooting and killing his close friend Susan Berman in December 2000. If convicted, he could face the death penalty.
“I think it’s ridiculous for them to be making a search 15 years after Susan Berman was killed, and they’re searching a place in Houston,” DeGuerin told CNN.
Durst remains jailed in New Orleans, where he’s facing drug and weapons charges stemming from his arrest over the weekend.
Durst’s alleged connections with Berman’s death and two others were the focus of HBO’s true crime documentary, “The Jinx.”
DeGuerin has claimed it’s no coincidence authorities moved in to arrest Durst just as the documentary’s finale was about to air. And on Tuesday, he said he wasn’t surprised about the Houston raid either.
“I’m not surprised they’re acting like a bunch of keystone cops, particularly after being embarrassed by the TV program,” he said. “And I’ll be even more surprised if they find anything of any evidentiary value whatsoever.”
Prosecutors accuse Durst of “lying in wait” and killing Berman, a crime writer and his longtime confidante, because she was a witness to a crime. She was shot in the head shortly before investigators were coming to speak with her about the disappearance of Durst’s first wife in 1982.
Durst has long maintained he had nothing to do with Berman’s death or his wife’s disappearance, though some have questioned whether comments he made at the end of the documentary — muttering under his breath in the bathroom that he “killed them all” — could be interpreted as a confession.
DeGuerin told reporters Monday that his client didn’t kill Berman.
“He’s ready to end all the rumor and speculation and have a trial,” DeGuerin said.
But it’s unclear when a trial could take place.
Durst waived his right to fight extradition to Los Angeles, but because prosecutors in New Orleans are pursuing charges against him, he remains jailed there.
Durst had a Smith & Wesson .38-caliber revolver on him when he was arrested, according to New Orleans Police Department records. Investigators found marijuana and a “substantial” amount of cash in Durst’s hotel room, a source familiar with the investigation told CNN. He was booked in New Orleans Monday on charges of being a felon in possession of a firearm and possession of a firearm with a controlled substance.
He may be moved soon to a different Louisiana prison where inmates with “an acute medical condition” are sent, DeGuerin said. Court documents filed Tuesday say Durst will receive medications while imprisoned, “including but not limited to hydrocodone as needed for pain.”