New Orleans, LA — The media have been buzzing about the arrest of real estate heir Robert Durst, 71, in New Orleans on Saturday. Durst was arrested on a warrant issued by the LAPD for allegedly murdering his longtime friend Susan Berman in 2000 in Beverly Hills. One of the most remarkable aspects of his arrest is the timing: although Durst was long a suspect in Berman’s murder, he was taken into custody just before HBO aired the final episode of a documentary series examining the criminal accusation against Durst, including lengthy interviews with its subject.
Two of the issues which have been subject to intense media scrutiny include the admissibility of statements from the documentary that Durst made while unaware that his microphone was on and whether Durst will face trial on drug and weapons charges in Louisiana before he is extradited to Los Angeles on the murder charge.
In the final episode of “The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst,” Durst can be heard speaking to himself in the bathroom after being confronted with a piece of evidence that points to his guilt in Berman’s murder. Experts have debated whether his statement “There it is. You’re caught! What the hell did I do? Killed them all, of course.” can be used as evidence at trial and how effective it would be in securing a conviction.
Then there’s the question of Durst’s extradition. While the millionaire has waived his right to fight extradition, he may have to face trial on weapons and drug charges before he is brought back to California. FBI agents who arrested him at the JW Marriot Hotel reportedly found him in possession of marijuana and a revolver. As a convicted felon, Durst is not allowed to own a firearm.
The DA’s office and LAPD have insisted that the charges against Durst are grounded in their own investigation, and are not tied to the HBO documentary. They believe that Durst murdered Berman to keep her from talking to investigators about his wife’s 1982 disappearance.
It can be particularly difficult to try a case under heavy media scrutiny. At the Law Office of Michael L. Guisti, we aren’t afraid of taking on difficult cases and we never give up hope in our clients. We’ve been successfully defending clients against charges of murder, sexual assault, domestic violence, theft, fraud, and drug possession for over 16 years across Southern California. Our team of dedicated legal professionals will work tirelessly to make sure that the charges against you are reduced or dismissed.
We know how difficult it is to be charged with a crime and we’re here to help you. Our staff is available to help 24/7. Let us put our years of training and experience to work for you. Our offices are located in Irvine, Santa Ana, Garden Grove, and Santa Ana and we are happy to offer foreign language assistance as needed.
So if you’ve been charged with a crime in Southern California, call the Law Office of Michael L. Guisti at (714) 707-2797 for a free consultation.
P.S. — Have a happy—and safe—St. Patrick’s Day. (http://www.oc-breeze.com/2015/03/14/68603_be-a-saint-and-drive-sober-on-st-patricks-day/)
AP with KPCC staff. “‘The Jinx:’ Durst booked in Louisiana on weapons, drug charges.” http://www.scpr.org/news/2015/03/16/50383/real-estate-heir-robert-durst-s-comments-chilling/. 89.3 KPCC. 16 March 2015.
McConnaughey, Janet and Brian Melley/ The Associated Press. “Real estate heir Robert Durst could face death penalty in murder.” http://www.ocregister.com/articles/durst-654446-berman-police.html. Orange County Register. 16 March 2015.