Robert Durst pleads guilty to gun charge, can be extradited to face murder charge
LOS ANGELES – Millionaire real-estate heir Robert Durst pleaded guilty to a gun charge in New Orleans next week, a move that puts Durst one step closer to facing a murder charge in Los Angeles.
Durst pleaded guilty at a Feb. 3 re-arraignment hearing to one charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm.
The weapons charge stems from his arrest last March at a New Orleans hotel, where investigators have said Durst had a .38-caliber revolver with him and was prepared for a life on the lam when authorities closed in.
Durst has been held without bail since his arrest, which occurred the day before the final episode of “The Jinx,” an HBO true-crime documentary about his life.
Last year, authorities charged him with first-degree murder and accused him of killing his friend, crime writer Susan Berman, at her California home in 2000. He hasn’t yet been arraigned in that case, but his attorneys have maintained his innocence.
DeGuerin said he will ask the judge in New Orleans to designate a federal prison for Durst to go to that is close to Los Angeles so he can be transported there for the murder trial.
It’s not the first time Durst has been accused of murder. In a 2003 trial, he admitted to killing and dismembering a neighbor, but Durst was acquitted after arguing he acted in self-defense.
Berman was shot in the head in her Beverly Hills home in December 2000, shortly before investigators were set to speak with her about the 1982 disappearance of Durst’s first wife, Kathleen McCormack Durst.
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.”
Durst has long maintained that he had nothing to do with Berman’s death or his wife’s disappearance.
But some say his mutterings picked up on a live microphone and broadcast in the HBO documentary made it sound like Durst was changing his tune.
“What the hell did I do?” Durst says from a bathroom at the end of the documentary. “Killed them all, of course.”
DeGuerin, has told CNN that “The Jinx” made for great television but does not represent a search for the truth.