- Robert Durst, a troubled millionaire from one of America's richest families, agreed yesterday to face trial for murder in the Los Angeles shooting 15 years ago of a woman who some believe knew too much about the disappearance of his wife in 1982.
Yesterday's extradition hearing came only hours after Sunday's finale of a six-part HBO documentary detailing Durst's life of privilege and links to three deaths: his friend in Los Angeles, Susan Berman; his wife in New York, Kathleen Durst; and Morris Black, an elderly neighbor in Texas.
Durst is heard muttering that he "killed them all, of course," at the end of "The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst."
His trip to California may be delayed by new charges in Louisiana, one of his lawyers said. The heir to a New York real-estate fortune was also booked yesterday on weapons charges in Louisiana. State Trooper Melissa Matey told the Associated Press that an arrest warrant was issued for Durst and that he was rebooked in the Orleans Parish Jail yesterday under two new charges: convicted felon in possession of a firearm and possession of a weapon with a controlled substance. Matey said the substance was a small amount of marijuana.
Durst shuffled into a courtroom yesterday with his hands shackled at his waist, wearing sandals and an orange jumpsuit, and appeared to fall asleep before Magistrate Harry Cantrell struck his gavel down. Then he answered "yes" to questions about waiving extradition. The judge also agreed that Durst could get pain medication meanwhile; defense attorney Dick DeGuerin said Durst had undergone "neurosurgery."
Durst had been laying low at the Marriott hotel to avoid the growing attention from the documentary, his longtime lawyer, Chip Lewis, told the AP.
This is not the first time in handcuffs for Durst, who has been estranged from family members who are together worth an estimated $4 billion. The Durst Organization manages a New York real-estate empire including One World Trade Center.
Just last year, Durst was fined for urinating on the candy racks at a CVS pharmacy in Houston, where he keeps a townhouse. Lewis called that an "unfortunate medical mishap" and said Durst has Asperger's syndrome, an autism spectrum disorder that can involve behavioral problems.