Attorneys for Robert Durst, subject of HBO’s “The Jinx,” say they are “frustrated” with New Orleans authorities who are considering filing charges against the real estate scion after police reports show he was found with a gun when he was arrested.
Durst, who is suspected in the death of writer Susan Berman, was taken into custody Saturday evening at the Marriott Hotel on Canal Street. A police report states that Durst had a Smith & Wesson .38 revolver in his possession when authorities arrested him about 7 p.m.
Orleans Parish Magistrate Judge Harry Cantrell on Monday ordered Durst be extradited to Los Angeles, where he’s expected to face murder charges. After the hearing, Durst’s attorney said he wants to travel to California as soon as possible, but may be delayed as New Orleans officials weight whether to file local charges.
“Bob Durst didn’t kill Susan Berman and he’s ready to end all the rumor and speculation,” said Durst’s attorney, Dick DeGuerin. “We’re frustrated because the local authorities are considering filing charges on him here and holding him here.”
A court filing from Louisiana State Police says Durst was considered a flight risk and that authorities believed him to be “armed and dangerous” prior to his arrest.
It was not immediately clear what charges, if any, Durst would face in New Orleans. DeGuerin declined to comment on the weapon found when Durst was arrested or on what charges his client may face.
“We came here to waive jurisdiction and go back to California and get it on,” DeGuerin said.
Christopher Bowman, a spokesman for District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro, declined to comment. The office has a policy of not commenting on open investigations.
A member of a wealthy New York real estate family, Durst is suspected in at least three killings, according to the HBO documentary series “The Jinx,” the finale of which was aired Sunday evening. The killings include Durst’s wife Kathie Durst, whose body was never found, Berman and a neighbor, Morris Black.
Durst was charged and tried in Black’s killing, but a jury acquitted him in 2003 after hearing his claims of self-defense. Black was found in pieces in Galveston, Texas in 2001. Durst had rented his room by posing as a mute woman, according to the New York Daily News.
Durst told the court he shot Black and cut up the elderly man’s body, but he said it was in self-defense.
In HBO’s Sunday evening finale, Durst is heard on a live microphone apparently confessing to the three murders, which spanned 30 years.
“What the hell did I do?” Durst says off-camera and into the microphone, which he does not appear to know is on.
“Killed them all, of course.”
When asked why Durst agreed to participate in a documentary that depicts him as guilty in two of the three cases, director Jarecki told the Los Angeles Times, “he has a compulsion to tell his story, and frankly I think he enjoys the feeling of being at risk.”
Prior to his extradition hearing on Monday, Durst sat and spoke quietly to his attorney. After being asked to rise, he appeared to smile at the crowd of reporters, lawyers and onlookers packed inside the courtroom.
Shackled and dressed in orange prison garb, Durst shuffled towards the podium where he told Cantrell he was willing to waive extradition.
“Yes, I signed it, your honor,” Durst said quietly.
Cantrell signed off on the extradition, paving the way for California authorities to transport the 71-year-old back to Los Angeles county. Several photographers waited for Durst at Louis Armstrong International Airport, though as of Monday afternoon it was unclear when he would depart from California.
DeGuerin told Cantrell that Durst had not received any medication for pain since being incarcerated at the Orleans Parish Prison. DeGuerin said Durst had recently had neurosurgery and was in need of several types of medication.