Attorneys for Robert Durst have asked to delay his New Orleans trial on a federal gun charge by one to two months. Last week’s motion comes as Durst’s team is engaged in a multi-front battle to knock down key evidence in the case.
It stems from a search of Durst’s hotel room in March. FBI agents found a loaded pistol in Durst’s room at the JW Marriott hotel, but Durst’s attorneys say the search was illegal. They say that as the Sept. 20 trial date nears, they are still awaiting rulings on whether evidence from the search will be allowed.
“Although Mr. Durst is eager to resolve these proceedings and defend himself against the charges pending against him in California, a brief continuance is necessary for Mr. Durst to adequately prepare for trial on the firearm charge,” his attorneys wrote.
Durst faces a single count of possession of a gun by a felon. His team has filed a flurry of motions challenging the case against the millionaire, who in March was charged with the murder of a friend, Susan Berman, in Los Angeles more than a decade ago.
He has challenged the validity of the arrest warrant obtained by Los Angeles authorities for Berman’s murder, asserting that investigators reopened the murder only because of the hype created by the HBO television documentary “The Jinx.” The show chronicled Durst’s connections to Berman’s death in 2000, his killing of Galveston, Texas, neighbor Morris Black in 2001 and the disappearance of his first wife, Kathleen, in 1982.
Durst is prohibited from having a firearm because he was convicted of felony charges in connection with Black’s death. Durst said he shot Black in self-defense and was acquitted of murder charges, but he was convicted of felony counts related to jumping bail and dismembering Black’s body.
In New Orleans, Durst, 72, faces as long as 10 years in prison if convicted of the gun charge. If granted, his latest motion would move his trial to late October or November.
By Andy Grimm (Times-Picayune)