Robert Durst Indicted on Louisiana Drug and Weapons Charges
A grand jury in Louisiana formally charges the eccentric real estate heir with drug and weapons possession after his March arrest
Robert Durst’s lawyers were trying to get a Louisiana court to drop its case against him, but on Wednesday, a grand jury indicted Durst on drug and weapons charges.
Since his March 14 arrest in New Orleans, the real estate heir who was the focus of the explosive HBO docuseries The Jinx has been held without bond in a medical unit at a correctional facility outside of New Orleans.
Lawyers for the 71-year-old had been fighting to have drug and weapons charges thrown out of court in Louisiana so he could be released for extradition to California to face a murder charge in the 2000 execution-style death of his longtime friend Susan Berman.
But on Wednesday, Durst was indicted by a grand jury on two Louisiana gun charges for illegally possessing a firearm as a felon and carrying a weapon with a controlled substance, according to Reuters.
Durst was charged after agents found five ounces of marijuana and a .38 caliber revolver in his hotel room at the J.W. Marriott in New Orleans, Assistant District Attorney Chris Bowman told the Associated Press.
According to court testimony, an FBI agent recognized Durst in a New Orleans hotel March 14 and escorted him to his hotel room, according to the Associated Press. Durst was arrested on the Los Angeles warrant and arrested separately on the weapons charges the next day.
A hearing before a magistrate in the New Orleans case had been scheduled for Thursday.
However, with the indictment, the case is now before Criminal District Court Judge Franz Zibilich, according to the clerk of court’s office.
Durst’s attorneys had argued that his arrest last month and the initial search of his hotel room were improperly conducted.
At last week’s probable cause hearing, Durst’s lawyers subpoenaed two FBI agents and a state trooper from the FBI’s New Orleans Violent Crimes Task Force who had arrested him March 14, according to a subpoena PEOPLE has obtained.
But federal prosecutors are arguing that the subpoenas should be moved to federal court. In an April 6 federal court filing obtained by PEOPLE, Assistant United State Attorney Peter Mansfield argued that the subpoenas should be moved to federal court because they are actions against them in their official capacities for the purpose of obtaining testimony, information and material maintained under color of their official duties.
Mansfield said the FBI agents and the officer did not receive approval from the U.S. Attorney’s office to testify in court.
Lawyers for Durst did not return calls for comment.
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