Fugitive real estate heir agrees to Los Angeles extradition

This Tuesday, March 17, 2015, file photo shows Robert Durst is transported from Orleans Parish Criminal District Court to the Orleans Parish Prison after his arraignment on murder charges in New Orleans. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)

LOS ANGELES — A New York real estate heir has agreed to return to Los Angeles to face charges that he killed a woman to stop her from cooperating with an investigation into the disappearance of his wife, prosecutors announced Tuesday.

Robert Durst and his attorneys jointly filed an agreement with the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office. It stipulates that Durst will be extradited from Louisiana to Los Angeles no later than Aug. 18.

Court filings have shown that Durst has struck a plea deal with federal prosecutors on a weapons charge in New Orleans. The weapons charge has kept Durst jailed in Louisiana since March, even though he waived extradition on the murder charge in Los Angeles.

Durst, an estranged member of the family that runs 1 World Trade Center in New York, faces a first-degree murder trial in Los Angeles in the 2000 death of his friend and onetime spokeswoman Susan Berman, 55.

The 72-year-old millionaire is accused of killing Berman to keep her from talking to investigators looking into the disappearance of his first wife in 1982.

Richard DeGuerin, one of Durst’s attorneys, said in a statement Tuesday that the extradition agreement is “part of our effort to have Robert Durst face and defeat the California murder charge as soon as possible.”

“Bob Durst didn’t kill Susan Berman and doesn’t know who did,” DeGuerin said. “He is eager to go to trial and prove his innocence.”

U.S. District Judge Helen Berrigan in Louisiana postponed Durst’s trial on the weapons charge earlier this month to give attorneys time to work out a date to sign a plea agreement. On Thursday, she scheduled a change of plea hearing for Feb. 3.

Durst was arrested in New Orleans on the eve of the finale of “The Jinx,” a six-part HBO documentary about Durst, the disappearance of his wife, Berman’s death, and the death and dismemberment of a neighbor in Texas in 2001.

Durst’s lawyers say his arrest in New Orleans was timed to coincide with the conclusion of “The Jinx.” Durst had registered at the hotel under the name Everette Ward and was lying low while HBO aired the final chapter of his life story.

Beverly JohnsonCaliforniadocumentaryextraditionHBOLos AngelesNew OrleansReal estate heirRichard DeGuerinRobert DurstSusan BermanThe Jinx

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Tenderloin merchants, residents come together over street closures

Parts of Larkin, Golden Gate to close four days a week to promote outdoor business, dining

Enter ‘The Matrix’: Drive-in movies during a pandemic

Though it’s fun to take in a film and drink, I miss watching bartenders make cocktails

Twin Peaks closure leads to complaints from neighbors

Twin Peaks Boulevard will no longer be entirely closed to motor vehicles… Continue reading

David Kubrin on Marxism and magic in the Mission

Former academic, industrial designer pens book on alternative, or people’s, science

Fire danger high in North and East Bay as region enters another hot, dry weekend

Spare the Air Alert issued for Sunday as heat, smoke and fumes expected to increase

Most Read