Robert Durst has been booked in New Orleans on charges of being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm and being in possession of a firearm with a controlled dangerous substance, Louisiana State Police Trooper Melissa Matey said Monday (March 16).
Matey said when Durst was arrested Saturday, he was in possession of a small amount of marijuana. State police obtained a warrant for the gun possession charges Monday afternoon, she said.
Durst was booked Saturday in New Orleans on an outstanding murder warrant out of Los Angeles County. He is accused in the December 2000 death of his friend, Susan Berman.
Los Angeles County prosecutors on Monday filed a first-degree murder charge against Durst there. If convicted, he could face the death penalty.
Durst’s attorney, Dick DeGuerin, said earlier Monday he was “frustrated” that local authorities were considering filing charges against his client.
“Bob Durst didn’t kill Susan Berman and he’s ready to end all the rumor and speculation, DeGuerin said. “We came here to waive jurisdiction and go back to California and get it on.”
DeGuerin told the Los Angeles Times he believed Durst’s arrest was timed to correspond with the last episode of the HBO documentary.
“Do I think this is a coincidence? Hell, no,” he said. “There has been rumor, innuendo and speculation for a number of years, and now we’re going to get our day in court on this.”
Prosecutors in Los Angeles have accused Durst of lying in wait and killing a witness.
At the time of her death, New York authorities were planning to interview Berman about what she knew about the 1982 disappearance of Durst’s wife, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Berman was found shot to death execution style in her home on Christmas Eve.
Chip Lewis, one of Durst’s attorneys, told the Los Angeles Times that Durst left Houston for New Orleans because he was being hounded by media about the HBO documentary. Durst wasn’t hiding out, Lewis said.
He had been in New Orleans for a week and was staying in room 2303. Lewis said he called to check on Durst daily, asking for him by name.
But CNN reported Durst was staying at the J.W. Marriott hotel on Canal Street under a fake name and was carrying a fake driver’s license. Citing a law enforcement official familiar with the investigation, CNN said authorities believed Durst was preparing to leave the country and flee to Cuba.
Investigators found marijuana and a “substantial” amount of cash in his hotel room, according to CNN.
Durst, a member of a wealthy New York real estate family and subject of the HBO documentary series, “The Jinx,” is a suspect in at least three killings over a 30-year period — Berman, his wife, Kathie Durst, whose body never was found, and Morris Black, a neighbor.
A Galveston, Texas jury acquitted Durst in Black’s killing in 2003 after hearing his claims of self defense.
In the finale of the HBO series, which aired Sunday, Durst says off camera, “What the hell did I do? Killed them all, of course.”