Robert Durst back in court for 2nd straight day

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Robert Durst case
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Robert Durst back in court for 2nd straight day
LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 21: Real Estate Heir Robert Durst appears in the Airport Branch of the Los Angeles County Superior Court during a preliminary hearing on December 21, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. Durst is charged with capital murder in a friend's killing Susan Berman in 2000. (Photo by Jae C. Hong-Pool\Getty Images)
Lawyers (L-R) David Chesnoff and Dick DeGuerin argue their client, New York real estate scion Robert Durst, while he appears in the Los Angeles Superior Court Airport Branch for a pre-trial motions hearing involving witnesses that are expected to testify before the trial in Los Angeles, California on January 6, 2017. The 73-year-old Durst, whose bizarre life was the focus of an acclaimed HBO series, is charged with the 2000 execution-style killing of longtime friend Susan Berman. / AFP / POOL / Mark Boster (Photo credit should read MARK BOSTER/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS, LA - MARCH 14: (EDITOR'S NOTE: Best quality available) In this handout provided by the Orleans Parish Sheriffs Office, OPSO, Robert Durst poses for a mugshot photo after being arrested and detained March 14, 2015 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Family member of a prominent New York City real estate empire and subject of a HBO series, Durst has been arrested on a first-degree murder warrant issued by police in Los Angeles related to the death of his friend, Susan Berman. (Photo by Orleans Parish Sheriffs Office via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - FEBRUARY 20: Robert Durst of the Durst Organization, Inc. (Photo by Bill Turnbull/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 6: Judge Mark E. Windham speaks from the bench about during a pre-trial motions hearing for New York real estate scion Robert Durst in the Los Angeles Superior Court Airport Branch involving witnesses that are expected to testify before the trial January 6, 2017. (Photo by Mark Boster/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
New York real estate scion Robert Durst has a lighter moment with his attorney Dick DeGuerin while appearing in the Los Angeles Superior Court Airport Branch for a pre-trial motions hearing involving witnesses that are expected to testify before the trial in Los Angeles, California on January 6, 2017. The 73-year-old Durst, whose bizarre life was the focus of an acclaimed HBO series, is charged with the 2000 execution-style killing of longtime friend Susan Berman. / AFP / POOL / Mark Boster (Photo credit should read MARK BOSTER/AFP/Getty Images)
Photographers gather at an entrance to the courthouse where Robert Durst appeared for a bail hearing in New Orleans, Louisiana March 23, 2015. Durst, the real estate scion awaiting extradition to California to face a murder charge, was denied bail after a judge deemed him to be a potential danger to others and a likely flight risk. REUTERS/Lee Celano
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 07: Real Estate Heir Robert Durst appears in the Airport Branch of the Los Angeles County Superior Court on November 7, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. Durst has pleaded not guilty to murder in the death of a friend Susan Berman in 2000. (Photo by Pool/Getty Images)
Robert Durst sits in a police vehicle as he leaves a courthouse in New Orleans, Louisiana March 17, 2015. Durst, scion of one of New York's largest real estate empires, was charged on gun and drug charges, after he was arrested in New Orleans on a murder warrant issued by Los Angeles County Saturday. REUTERS/Lee Celano (UNITED STATES - Tags: CRIME LAW)
New York real estate scion Robert Durst appears in the Los Angeles Superior Court Airport Branch for a pre-trial motions hearing involving witnesses that are expected to testify before the trial in Los Angeles, California on January 6, 2017. The 73-year-old Durst, whose bizarre life was the focus of an acclaimed HBO series, is charged with the 2000 execution-style killing of longtime friend Susan Berman. / AFP / POOL / Mark Boster (Photo credit should read MARK BOSTER/AFP/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA MARCH 16, 2015: Robert Durst, wealthy NY real estate heir, has been arrested in connection with the murder of his friend Susan Berman. The crime allegedly was commited by Durst inside this home in Beverly Hills in 2000. A camerman films the exterior of the home. (Francine Orr/ LA Times via Getty Images)
The director of HBO’s docu-series “The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst” discusses the shocking final moments of the show’s finale.
During the final episode of HBO's 'The Jinx,' Robert Durst was accidentally recorded saying he 'killed them all, of course.'
Robert Durst, a member of one of New York's wealthiest families and the subject of an HBO documentary, could face charges over a 15-year-old murder.
Daily News front page December 1, 2001, Headline: NABBED - Millionaire murder suspect Robert Durst caught stealing sandwich (Photo By: /NY Daily News via Getty Images)
Daily News page 8 and 9, November 11, 2000, Headline: Trial heats up in missing wife mystery - Cops shake the dust off '82 Durst case. By a stone cottage in northern Westchester, the pieces of an 18-year-old mystery, the celebrated disappearance of Kathleen Durst are slowing being put together. After more than a decade of inactivity, state police investigators have reopened the Durst case, chasing leads that again focus suspicion on her wealthy husband, real estate heir Robert Durst, law enforcement sources told the Daily News.(Photo By: /NY Daily News via Getty Images)
Daily News front page February 9, 1982, Headline: WIFE MISSING; 100G REWARD - Real estate tycoon's son asks for search - Medical student Kathleen Durst, wife of real estate tycoon Robert Durst and daughter-in-law of Seymour Durst, has been missing since Jan. 31, and the family has offered a $100,000 reward for information. She was last seen at her Riverside Drive apartment house. (Photo By: /NY Daily News via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - CIRCA 2000: Robert Durst of the Durst Organization, Inc., 133 6th Ave., New York City. (Photo by Bill Turnbull/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
Robert Durst waived extradition Monday morning during a court appearance in New Orleans. He is expected to be sent to Los Angeles to face murder charges.
Robert Durst in a wheelchair arrives for his his arraignment on capital murder charges in the death of Susan Berman, with one of his lawyer David Z. Chesnoff (L) looking on, in Los Angeles, California, U.S. November 7, 2016. REUTERS/Kevork Djansezian
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HOUSTON (AP) -- Authorities on Tuesday carried away two boxes after searching the Houston home of real estate millionaire Robert Durst after his weekend arrest in New Orleans on a murder warrant.

Durst, 71, is charged with murder in a killing in California 15 years ago, and has been suspected - but never charged - in the disappearance of his first wife in New York. In 2003, he was acquitted of murder in a dismemberment death in Texas. His arrest in New Orleans came shortly before the finale of an HBO series about his links to the three killings.

Seven officers spent hours Tuesday searching Durst's home in a 17-story condominium building in a posh Houston neighborhood. About 8:30 p.m. the officers, including one wearing a Los Angeles Police Department badge, carried two white cardboard document boxes to six vehicles and left.

The officers declined to comment, except for one who confirmed they were done.

FBI spokeswoman Shauna Dunlap confirmed that FBI agents participated in the operation at the request of the Los Angeles Police Department. Harris County district attorney's office spokesman Jeff McShan said the Los Angeles Police Department contacted his office last week.

Neither Dunlap nor McShan would elaborate on what was happening inside the building and referred questions to Los Angeles police.

LAPD spokesman Sgt. Barry Montgomery said the department is not commenting until Durst is in its custody. Durst is being held in Louisiana, where he faces drug and weapons charges, and it's not clear how soon he will be returned to California.

"This is an investigation that's being handled by multi-jurisdictions," Montgomery said. "At this juncture the only thing the LAPD is doing is waiting for the extradition. We are just waiting on him to make it into our custody."

Durst, 71, was charged Monday in Los Angeles with first-degree murder in the shooting of Susan Berman, his confidante and the daughter of a prominent Las Vegas mobster, in Beverly Hills. He could face the death penalty under special circumstances that allege he ambushed her and murdered a witness to a crime.

Dick DeGuerin, Durst's longtime Houston defense attorney, said he was baffled by what investigators could be looking for in the condo building.

"I think it's a publicity stunt. I'm not surprised by it, but I would really be surprised if they found anything of any evidentiary value," he said.

In the documentary "The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst" that just wrapped up, Durst mumbled about how he "killed them all," providing a dramatic kick to the end of the series. But a law enforcement official said his arrest on the murder charge was based on words he wrote.

Analysis linked a letter Durst wrote to Berman a year before her killing with one that pointed police to her body, and that was the key new evidence in the long-dormant investigation into the 2000 killing, the official not authorized to speak publicly told The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity because the investigation was ongoing.

Bob Martin, who has lived with his wife, Carol, in the Houston building for 1 1/2 years, said he would occasionally say hello to Durst and discuss the real estate market with him. He described Durst as no quirkier than anyone else in the building. He added that Durst would occasionally attend the building's homeowners' association meetings and that the building staff reported Durst was courteous to them, as well.

Durst waived extradition in New Orleans, but authorities there charged him with being a felon in possession of a gun and with having marijuana. Assistant District Mark Burton said investigators found more than a quarter-pound of pot and a revolver in his hotel room.

DeGuerin said he wants a hearing in Louisiana as soon as possible to contest the arrest.

"The warrant we believe is based on a television show and not on actual fact," he said. "We want a hearing as quickly as possible so Mr. Durst can go to California and face trial as quickly as possible."

The judge in New Orleans scheduled another hearing for next Monday.


The Brief History Of Possibly Murderous Billionaire Robert Durst

"There it is. You're caught!" Durst whispered before the sound of running water is heard. "What the hell did I do? Killed them all, of course."

That moment didn't just make for a captivating ending to the documentary on the eccentric life of an heir to a New York real estate fortune, it could also provide additional evidence for prosecutors.

The official who spoke on the condition of anonymity said the bathroom recording was not presented to prosecutors before charges were filed because detectives were still trying to determine if the recording was tampered with in any way.

But legal experts said the audio and other parts of the interview could become key evidence.

"Any statement that the defendant makes that they want to use against him, they can use against him," said Andrea Roth, a law professor at the University of California, Berkeley.

Kerry Lawrence, a defense attorney in Westchester County, New York, said Durst's lawyers will have to try to explain away his comments, perhaps dismissing them as a joke.

"Prosecutors would argue it was a candid moment of self-reflection, and I assume will argue that he knew he was still being recorded, and this was either said in jest or he was being facetious or sarcastic or was being provocative," Lawrence said. "I don't think it's quite the smoking gun."

Durst - still worth millions despite his estrangement from his family, whose New York real estate empire is worth about $4 billion - has maintained his innocence in three killings in as many states.

When Durst approached the filmmakers and agreed to go on camera, against the advice of his lawyers, he had already weathered one murder case, winning an acquittal in a gory Galveston, Texas, dismemberment case by claiming he shot his neighbor in self-defense.

He was still suspected in the killing of Berman, whose father was a Las Vegas mobster associated with Bugsy Siegel and Meyer Lansky, and the disappearance of his wife, Kathleen, who was declared dead long after she vanished in New York in 1982.

Berman, 55, was shot once in the back of the head at her home near Beverly Hills shortly before New York investigators planned to question her about Kathleen Durst's disappearance.

The documentary showed filmmaker Andrew Jarecki confronting Durst with a copy of an anonymous letter that alerted Beverly Hills police to look for a "cadaver" at Berman's address.

Durst offered that whoever sent it was "taking a big risk. You're sending a letter to police that only the killer could have written."

Then, in the final episode, Jarecki revealed another envelope, which Durst acknowledged mailing to Berman, that has similar writing in block letters and also misspelled the address as "Beverley."

"I wrote this one but I did not write the cadaver one," Durst said. But when shown an enlargement of both copies, Durst couldn't distinguish them.

---

Melley and Tami Abdollah reported from Los Angeles. Contributors include Associated Press Writers David Bauder, Jim Fitzgerald and Verena Dobnik in New York.

16 PHOTOS
Robert Durst - headlines, etc.
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Robert Durst back in court for 2nd straight day
Daily News front page November 12, 2003, Headline: Millionaire cross-dresser Robert Durst shot a man, chopped up his body and beat the rap. So Bobby...WHERE'S THE HEAD? Robert Durst (Photo By: /NY Daily News via Getty Images)
Daily News front page February 9, 1982, Headline: WIFE MISSING; 100G REWARD - Real estate tycoon's son asks for search - Medical student Kathleen Durst, wife of real estate tycoon Robert Durst and daughter-in-law of Seymour Durst, has been missing since Jan. 31, and the family has offered a $100,000 reward for information. She was last seen at her Riverside Drive apartment house. (Photo By: /NY Daily News via Getty Images)
Daily News front page September 23, 2003, Headline: HOW DURST DID IT - Defense tells trial why he butchered neighbor in 'self-defense' Robert Durst (Photo By: /NY Daily News via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - NOVEMBER 30: Fugitive murder suspect Robert Durst, the estranged scion of one of New York's wealthiest real estate families, is shown in a police booking photo Friday, Nov. 30, 2001, in Hanover Township in Bath, Pa. Durst was arrested Friday after shoplifting Band-Aids and a sandwich at a supermarket near Route 22, an east-west highway that leads to New York. Durst, who was suspected in his wife's disappearance 19 years ago, became a fugitive after being charged in October with murdering his 71-year-old neighbor, whose dismembered body parts were found dumped in Galveston Bay in Galveston, Texas. (Photo by NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - FEBRUARY 20: Robert Durst of the Durst Organization, Inc. (Photo by Bill Turnbull/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
Daily News page 8 and 9, November 11, 2000, Headline: Trial heats up in missing wife mystery - Cops shake the dust off '82 Durst case. By a stone cottage in northern Westchester, the pieces of an 18-year-old mystery, the celebrated disappearance of Kathleen Durst are slowing being put together. After more than a decade of inactivity, state police investigators have reopened the Durst case, chasing leads that again focus suspicion on her wealthy husband, real estate heir Robert Durst, law enforcement sources told the Daily News. (Photo By: /NY Daily News via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - CIRCA 2000: Robert Durst of the Durst Organization, Inc., 133 6th Ave., New York City. (Photo by Bill Turnbull/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - OCTOBER 18: Daily News page October 18, 2001 on Robert Durst, Headline Reads: , Hunt for Durst Widens (Photo by NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - JANUARY 25: Robert Durst who is wanted in Galveston Texas for the killing of a woman friend and for the missing of his New York wife Kathleen Durst, as he comes and goes from Northhampton Courthouse in Easton Pa. (Photo by John Roca/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
Daily News front page December 1, 2001, Headline: NABBED - Millionaire murder suspect Robert Durst caught stealing sandwich (Photo By: /NY Daily News via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - CIRCA 2002: Photo of Robert Durst taken from Lehigh University Yearbook, 1965 (Photo by NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
Daily News page 28, October 13, 2001, Headline: Coast-to-coast probe of Durst - N.Y., L.A. cops head to Tex., looking to link him to 3 killings - Investigators from New York and Los Angeles will meet with Texas law enforcement next week in a bid for evidence that could tie real estate heir Robert Durst to three killings. (Photo By: /NY Daily News via Getty Images)
GALVESTON, TX - NOVEMBER 10: Millionaire murder defendant Robert Durst (C) sits in State District Judge Susan Criss court with his attorney Dick DeGuerin (R) November 10, 2003 at the Galveston County Courthouse in Galveston, Texas. Durst is being charged for the murder and mutilation of his neighbor Morris Black. (Photo by James Nielsen/ Getty Images)
GALVESTON, TX - NOVEMBER 10: Millionaire murder defendant Robert Durst sits in State District Judge Susan Criss court November 10, 2003 at the Galveston County Courthouse in Galveston, Texas. Durst is being charged for the murder and mutilation of his neighbor Morris Black. (Photo by James Nielsen/ Getty Images)
GALVESTON, TX - NOVEMBER 10: Millionaire murder defendant Robert Durst (C) sits in State District Judge Susan Criss court with his attorney Dick DeGuerin (R) November 10, 2003 at the Galveston County Courthouse in Galveston, Texas. Durst is being charged for the murder and mutilation of his neighbor Morris Black. (Photo by James Nielsen/ Getty Images)
GALVESTON, TX - NOVEMBER 10: Millionaire murder defendant Robert Durst (C) sits in State District Judge Susan Criss court with his attorney Dick DeGuerin (R) November 10, 2003 at the Galveston County Courthouse in Galveston, Texas. Durst is being charged for the murder and mutilation of his neighbor Morris Black. (Photo by James Nielsen/ Getty Images)
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