Robert Durst, the New York real estate heir and subject of HBO's true crime miniseries The Jinx, pleaded guilty on Wednesday to unlawful possession of a .38-caliber revolver. The deal was reached after Durst got arrested by the FBI in New Orleans last March, with the feds apparently concerned he might flee the country as a result of the renewed interest in his case, The New York Times reports.
Durst is expected to get sentenced to 85 months in federal prison. But he still hasn't been arraigned on a Los Angeles County district attorney's charge that he murdered his close friend and girl Friday, Susan Berman, in 2000. The plea bargain over the gun charge requires LA prosecutors to arraign him by August 18, meaning they have a little over six months to put the case together and transfer Durst from New Orleans to California, where his crack defense team will contend with Berman's execution-style murder by a gunshot to the head.
Durst's adult life has been marred by allegations and mystery. He was born rich—inheriting a slice of his father Seymour Durst's real estate fortune. In 1982, Durst's first wife, Kathleen McCormick, disappeared, and has never been found; her family has believed for many years that Durst is responsible for her disappearance. Meanwhile, Durst was acquitted of murder in an unrelated incident in 2003, even though he described the process of chopping up the body of his 71-year-old Galveston, Texas neighbor, Morris Black, and dumping it in the ocean. (His defense was that the lethal gunshot got discharged accidentally, during a struggle.)
The event did, however, result in a felony conviction for evidence tampering and bail-jumping.
After Berman's body was discovered, a letter was found apparently attempting to tip off the LAPD to the location of a "cadaver" at her address. The handwriting was analyzed at the time, albeit inconclusively. However, analysis performed in the HBO series, as well as Durst's audiotaped confession, were cited in the arrest warrant last year.
If and when the murder case does go to trial, the scene in the courtroom will surely be a colorful one. Durst's lawyer is spunky Texas litigator Dick DeGuerin, who won the acquittal in Texas, and the relevant district attorney is LA's legendary cold-case prosecutor John Lewin.
In 2012, after putting a convict away for 26 years for a murder that occurred in 1985, Lewin told the press, "The passage of time played to this case's advantage," adding, "Lies are hard to remember. The truth never changes."
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