Robert Durst of 'The Jinx' faces hearing on murder charges

LOS ANGELES, April 16 (Reuters) - A frail-looking Robert Durst appeared in a Los Angeles courtroom on Monday as a hearing began to determine whether the real estate scion should stand trial for the murder 18 years ago of a friend who prosecutors say could have tied him to the presumed killing of his wife.

Durst, 75, entered Los Angeles Superior Court slowly, dressed in a gray and tan suit, a large scar on the right side of his head. The proceedings were expected to last several weeks.

The enigmatic subject of the popular HBO documentary "The Jinx," was charged with the murder of Susan Berman in 2015 a day after that broadcast aired its final episode.

The six-part miniseries investigated Durst's ties to Berman's slaying, his wife's unsolved 1982 disappearance and his 2003 acquittal in the slaying and dismemberment of a Texas neighbor.

SEE ALSO: NYPD says they have new tip in Robert Durst case

In the closing minutes of "The Jinx," Durst, the heir to a New York real estate fortune, is heard muttering to himself off-camera, "What the hell did I do? Killed them all, of course."

The documentary has provided grist for prosecutors even as defense attorneys have sought to keep the footage out of court and discredit the production as biased against their client.

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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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Prosecutors say Durst fatally shot Berman, a 55-year-old writer and the daughter of an organized crime figure, in Los Angeles in 2000 because of what she knew about the death of his wife.

Berman was found shot to death execution-style in her home a few months after it was revealed that police in New York had reopened an investigation of the disappearance and presumed slaying of Kathleen Durst, who was a medical student in New York when she vanished.

Durst has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder charges stemming from Berman’s death. He also has denied having anything to do with the disappearance of his wife, whose body was never found. He has never been arrested or charged in that case.

In 2001, Durst, who was living at the time disguised as a mute woman, was arrested on suspicion of killing and dismembering his elderly neighbor, Morris Black.

Durst admitted during trial that he killed and carved up Black, but a jury acquitted him of homicide after he argued it was an accidental shooting in self-defense. He spent about three years in jail for related minor charges. (Reporting by Dan Whitcomb Editing by Clarence Fernandez and Dan Grebler)

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