Robert Durst is headed for St. Charles Parish.
U.S. District Judge Helen “Ginger” Berrigan on Monday endorsed a request by the celebrity inmate’s attorneys to move him to the Nelson Coleman Correctional Center in St. Charles Parish from a mental health outpost at a state prison in St. Gabriel.
The move came after the U.S. Marshals Service agreed on the placement in St. Charles while federal prosecutors pursue a gun charge against Durst, the accused Los Angeles murderer and subject of the HBO documentary series ”The Jinx.”
Durst’s attorneys just last week asked Berrigan to hold the 72-year-old real-estate scion at Elayn Hunt Correctional Center, where Orleans Parish Sheriff Marlin Gusman’s office shipped him last month after deeming him a suicide risk.
But in their motion on Monday, they said they had since received an assurance from the U.S. Marshals Service that if Durst were held in St. Charles, he wouldn’t be shipped to another state for any needed medical care. At worst, he’d be sent back to Hunt or to a local hospital for treatment, his lawyers said.
Dick DeGuerin, one of Durst’s lawyers, has said Durst has suffered some significant medical conditions, and in a rambling letter recently to the Los Angeles Times, Durst acknowledged he’s undergone surgery for hydrocephalus, colloquially known as water on the brain.
Durst is charged with murder in the 2000 killing of his onetime confidante, Susan Berman, in Los Angeles. But he’s unlikely to face that charge before he’s prosecuted in Louisiana on a federal indictment from April 10.
Durst faces a count of the interstate transport of a gun as a convicted felon, stemming from the .38 caliber Smith & Wesson revolver authorities found when they caught up with Durst at the JW Marriott hotel on Canal Street on March 14. They also found some marijuana, a mask, a map and other items that authorities say indicated he was ready to flee, perhaps to Cuba, to escape a murder trial in Los Angeles.
Last week, Orleans Parish District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro’s office refused a pair of state gun charges against Durst, citing the federal case.
According to Durst’s attorneys, U.S. Attorney Kenneth Polite’s office doesn’t have a problem with the move to St. Charles. A spokesman for the U.S. Marshals Service did not immediately respond to a call.
Berrigan’s order states that Durst “shall not be transferred to a medical facility outside the State of Louisiana.”
By John Simerman (The New Orleans Advocate)