Jailed millionaire Robert Durst is about to re-enter the spotlight.
On Monday, a federal judge issued an order for Durst to be re-arraigned on weapons charges next month in Louisiana. That could signal that he is prepared to change his not guilty plea in order to speed his extradition to Los Angeles, where he faces a murder charge in the 2000 killing of his friend Susan Berman.
In Houston, Durst’s lead attorney, Dick DeGuerin, would not comment about whether his eccentric client plans to change his plea at the Dec. 17 hearing, and said the legal team remains focused on getting him extradited.
“Bob Durst did not kill Susan Berman and doesn’t know who did,” DeGuerin said.
“From the time of his arrest in New Orleans in March, Bob and his legal team have been eager to get to California so he will finally have the opportunity to prove his innocence,” he added, “We hope to resolve all other charges right away so that Bob can be transferred to California for trial.”
Durst, 72, heir to a New York real estate empire, drew national attention this year as the subject of the HBO docudrama “The Jinx.”
The series explored the mysterious disappearance of Durst’s wife, Kathy, in 1982, as well as the 2000 killing of Berman, who was found shot in her Benedict Canyon home. In the final episode, Durst is caught muttering what sounded like a confession to the killings into a microphone off-camera.
Durst left his final interview to use the bathroom, appearing not to notice that his microphone was still recording as he muttered to himself, “What the hell did I do? Killed them all, of course.”
“There it is, you’re caught,” he said at another moment. “What a disaster.”
Before the series ended last spring, Durst disappeared from his Houston condo, a manhunt ensued and he was caught in New Orleans on March 14. Los Angeles County officials charged him with murder in connection with Berman’s death and attempted to extradite him to California.
Durst’s high-powered legal team didn’t oppose extradition, but the Louisiana prosecutors did. State and federal officials brought charges in connection with guns recovered from Durst’s New Orleans hotel room, and he has languished in a Louisiana prison ever since.
By Molly Hennessy-Fiske (LA Times)