Pennsylvania Gov. Mark Schweiker has signed a warrant to extradite millionaire murder suspect Robert Durst to Texas, clearing the way for extradition proceedings to begin against him.
The next step is for District Attorney John Morganelli of Northampton County, Pa. – where Durst is being held – to make sure the papers are in order and schedule a hearing.
Morganelli said yesterday he expects the millionaire developer will be back in Galveston by the end of next month to face charges of butchering his next-door neighbor.
“I expect he will be extradited. I think he will be sent back either because he waives extradition or by court order,” Morganelli said.
“Things are moving along very well. I think this will be completed by the end of January.”
Durst is being held in a maximum security cell at the Northampton County Prison in Easton, Pa., after his Nov. 30 arrest for trying to shoplift a $5.99 hero sandwich in nearby Hanover Township.
The arrest ended seven weeks on the run for the millionaire developer, who jumped bail on charges of dismembering and beheading 71-year-old Morris Black in late September.
To extradite Durst, prosecutors must prove only two things: He is the wanted man, and he is competent to take part in the proceedings.
There have been numerous reports that Durst would fight extradition on grounds of insanity; his New York lawyer, Michael Kennedy, refused to comment, citing a gag order issued Monday by a Galveston judge.
Under the extradition process, Texas Gov. Rick Perry formally requested that Gov. Schweiker extradite Durst. Schweiker then signed an extradition warrant on Tuesday and sent it to Morganelli.