Robert Durst's Lawyers Claim He Was Illegally Arrested and Should Be Freed

The millionaire's lawyers filed papers in New Orleans on Friday

Photo: Marc Smerling/HBO

Accused murderer Robert Durst’s lawyers filed papers Friday claiming that the millionaire was unlawfully arrested on March 14 and should be released.

In the motion filed in New Orleans, where the 71-year-old remains in custody pending extradition to California, Durst’s attorneys argue that the murder warrant served on Durst was unlawful and filed “to coincide with the final episode of the HBO docudrama The Jinx,” according to The New Orleans Advocate.

Durst was arrested Saturday and charged with the execution-style shooting death of his friend Susan Berman in California in 2000.

In addition to the murder charge, Durst (who has prior convictions for bail jumping, witness tampering and firearms offenses) was booked in Louisiana on charges that he was a felon in possession of a gun and with illegally carrying a weapon with a controlled substance.

In the papers filed Friday at the State Criminal District Court in New Orleans, Durst’s lawyers sought a preliminary hearing in order to prove that there is no probable cause to keep him jailed in Louisiana and that he should be released. The judge agreed to schedule that hearing during Durst’s court appearance for a bond hearing Monday.

The son of a wealthy New York real estate family, Durst is currently being held without bail in a Louisiana state facility where the Times-Picauyne reports he was deemed a suicide risk.

The attorneys also asked the judge to order that evidence be preserved from the JW Marriott hotel where Durst was arrested, and are seeking all records related to their client and Everett Ward, the name he used to check into the hotel, CBS News reports.

Investigators found almost $43,000 in cash, a loaded gun, a fake ID, marijuana and a latex mask that could cover his head and neck in the hotel room when Durst was arrested, according to a search warrant.

The six-part HBO miniseries looked at Durst’s connection to three killings, that of his first wife, Kathleen, who disappeared in 1982, Berman, and Morris Black, a Texas neighbor whose dismembered body was found in Galveston Bay in 2001. Durst was tried for the killing of his 71-year-old neighbor, but was acquitted.

At the end of his final interview for The Jinx, Durst was recorded mumbling what sounded like a confession. “What the hell did I do?” he said. “Killed them all, of course.”

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