Why Is Robert Durst Being Extradited? The Real Estate Heir Faces A Serious Charge In Los Angeles
Robert Durst is back in the news and is facing extradition from Louisiana. The real estate heir was arrested in New Orleans in March following a lengthy manhunt that led authorities from his home in Houston to the Crescent City. Now, it appears that Durst will be heading to Los Angeles as part of an extradition agreement pending a plea deal. Why is Robert Durst being extradited? The subject of HBO's The Jinx is facing murder charges reportedly stemming from the death of friend Susan Berman.
Berman was a writer, perhaps best known for her collection of memoirs detailing her childhood and her family's reported mob ties. She and Durst had met in the 1960s at UCLA where both were students. They stayed in contact and were reportedly incredibly close. Durst walked her down the aisle at her wedding and the writer later provided public relations help following the disappearance of Durst's wife, Kathie.
Berman was found dead in her Los Angeles home in December 2000 due to a fatal gunshot wound to the back of the head. Her death remained a mystery for almost a decade and a half. The investigation of Berman's death was reopened on March 8 this year, and a little over one week later, Durst was arrested in New Orleans wanted in connection with her murder. He was reportedly found with a revolver as well as trace amounts of marijuana. Due to the fact that Durst faces federal felony weapons and drug charges in New Orleans, he is only able to be extradited after his case in Louisiana is completed.
Durst's lawyer, Dick DeGuerin, commented on the case to Bustle, stating that he and his client had agreed to a plan with L.A. prosecutors to extradite Durst in a more timely manner to Los Angeles, where Durst plans to plead not guilty to the murder charges:
This was an agreement we reached with the L.A. prosecutors to expedite Bob Durst's trial in the Susan Berman murder case. Bob Durst didn't kill Susan Berman and doesn't know who did, and he's eager to prove it. He waived extradition in March, shortly after his arrest in New Orleans, but the Louisiana gun charges must be resolved first.
The agreement for Durst's extradition was received and processed by the Los Angeles County Clerk's Office on Tuesday. He will be back in federal court in New Orleans on Feb. 3, where he is expected to change his plea from not guilty to guilty to federal weapons and drug charges. Durst had initially pleaded innocence in April to the federal weapons and drug charges.
Durst is set to be extradited to Los Angeles by Aug. 18 at the absolute latest. As part of the extradition deal, Durst's legal team will "have no right to pre-arraignment discovery," a process that usually takes place before trials and which may provide additional information about a case including potential witnesses.