Durst and his attorneys were due for a hearing this week at the Orleans Parish Criminal District Court, which was delayed until Thursday.
Court documents indicate that Durst, who is wanted on a murder warrant out of California, is nearing the deadline for extradition next week. Since his arrest last month in New Orleans, he’s facing additional drug and gun charges filed by the Louisiana State Police.
Prosecutors said the extradition deadline can be delayed another two months since Durst was charged in Louisiana. His attorneys said the real estate heir is willing to pay extradition costs to face the murder charge in California.
Durst is accused in the death of Susan Berman in 2000. His high-profile case resurfaced with the culmination of an HBO documentary series centered on the allegations against him.
Authorities in California said Berman, Durst’s friend, was shot in the head in her home in Beverly Hills before police could question her about the disappearance of Durst’s first wife in 1982.
Since his arrest at a New Orleans hotel, Durst and his lawyers have been fighting to return to California, but have said their willingness to answer to the charges has been delayed by the new charges in Louisiana.
Last week, an attorney for Durst filed a motion to quash, claiming that the warrant to search his client’s hotel room was “invalid” and “unlawful.” He also argued that a Louisiana statute regarding the illegal possession of a firearm by a convicted felon does not apply to Durst because his past offense is not specified by the state law.
Preliminary hearings began Thursday, but were continued at the request of Durst’s legal team when they attempted to call two FBI agents and a Louisiana state trooper to the stand to testify. None of the law enforcement officials called were in attendance.
A U.S. attorney representing the FBI agents said in open court that he instructed the agents not to attend the hearing because the Department of Justice had not properly vetted a previous motion filed by Durst’s team days before the hearing.
“Not a single case supports the state’s position that an affidavit in support of an arrest warrant, standing alone, can establish probable cause at a preliminary hearing,” the filing said. “If the court were to follow the state’s unorthodox approach, the protections of a preliminary hearing – most importantly the rights of confrontation and cross examination – would be gutted.
Both sides in the case are due back in court this week on the issue of the FBI agents and whether they were in contempt of court for missing the hearing.