Robert Durst agrees to Los Angeles extradition

By Christine Pelisek
Updated December 22, 2015 07:00 PM
Marc Smerling/HBO

New York real estate heir Robert Durst will return to Los Angeles next summer to face a murder charge in the 2000 shooting death of his college friend Susan Berman, according to Los Angeles prosecutors.

On Tuesday, the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office said the 72-year-old former fugitive agreed to be extradited from Louisiana by Aug. 18, 2016.

Durst is currently being held in New Orleans on a federal gun charge and is expected to reach a plea deal and be sentenced to federal prison before he returns to Los Angeles.

Berman, a writer, filmmaker and a Las Vegas mobster’s daughter, was murdered on or about Dec. 23, 2000. Her body was discovered in her run down Benedict Canyon home on Christmas Eve. She had been shot once in the back of the head.

Durst was charged with her murder last spring, just a day before he allegedly admitted that he “killed them all, of course” on the HBO docuseries The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst.

The real estate scion was later apprehended in New Orleans with a latex mask, a fake ID and nearly $43,000. A loaded revolver was also found in his hotel room as well as marijuana.

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In October, Durst’s attorney, Dick DeGuerin, said his client was eager for the trial in California. “He is ready for the fight,” DeGuerin told PEOPLE. “He has come to realize that this is finally his opportunity to clear his name – at trial, with fair rules, in a court that will require hard evidence.”

Durst ignored DeGuerin’s advice and served as the subject of the Emmy-winning HBO documentary series, which focused on the disappearance of Kathleen Durst and the murder of Berman.

On the show, a handwriting comparison between the so-called “cadaver letter” – a note sent to police in December 2000 informing them of the location of Berman’s body – and another letter sent by Durst to Berman seemed to indicate that the two letters were written by the same person, down to the misspelling of “Beverley Hills Police.”

But it would appear that police made that connection previously, though an error made by an LAPD analyst delayed the case against Durst, according to a search warrant.

Earlier this month, the family of Durst’s wife Kathleen – who went missing in 1982 – filed a $100 million lawsuit on a “right of sepulcher” grounds, claiming Durst denied the family its right to choose a method of burial for their deceased relative.