Millionaire murder suspect Robert Durst will be transferred to the St. Charles Parish jail for the duration of the federal weapons case, court records indicate.
U.S. District Judge Helen Ginger Berrigan on Monday approved Durst’s transfer from the Elayn Hunt Correctional Center in St. Gabriel to the lockup in St. Charles Parish, about a half hour from the downtown New Orleans federal courthouse.
Durst’s lawyers had requested the move in a motion filed Monday, reversing course from last week, when they said they asked that Durst remain at Hunt. Orleans Parish prosecutors last week dropped state charges against Durst.
Orleans Parish officials had Durst held at Hunt since shortly after his arrest, saying he was deemed a suicide risk and could not stay at Orleans Parish Prison. Hunt is where mentally ill Orleans Parish inmates are housed. Defendants being held on federal charges typically are held at St. Charles Parish’s Nelson Coleman Correctional Center, where Durst will be housed.
Durst’s legal team said they received “assurances” from federal authorities that Durst will remain in Louisiana until the federal case against him is resolved, and that any medical issues afflicting the 72-year-old would be tended to at the St. Charles Parish jail, Hunt or local hospitals. The U.S. Marshal service has said that Durst will not be transferred to a medical facility outside Louisiana.
Durst was arrested last month in New Orleans after FBI agents searched his room at the J.W. Marriott hotel and found 5 grams of marijuana and a loaded .38-caliber revolver. Durst was initially held on state drug and firearm charges, only to be charged days later for violating federal gun laws.
Durst, who faces murder charges in California, and his lawyers have said the are eager for him to return to Los Angeles for trial.
Durst was charged nearly a decade ago with the murder of his neighbor, Morris Black, in Galveston, Texas. Though Durst fatally shot Black and chopped up the body and threw it into Galveston Bay, jurors acquitted him of murder charges.
But Durst had skipped bail before his trial armed with a pair of handguns, and eventually pleaded guilty to gun charges– felony convictions that made it illegal for him to possess firearms.
By Andy Grimm (NOLA.com)