HOUSTON - Real estate heir Robert Durst is in the process of being transferred to an Indiana prison which has a medical unit, rather than the California prison requested because he faces a murder trial in Los Angeles, KPRC 2 has learned.
Durst, 72, had been in the St. Charles Parish jail, which is about 25 miles from New Orleans, since April 2015.
Durst's attorney Dick DeGuerin said last week that the Bureau of Prisons assigned Durst to the federal prison in Terre Haute.
DeGuerin released a statement Tuesday that read, "Bob Durst is eager to get to California so that he can get to trial and prove that he did not kill Susan Berman and doesn't know who did. His transfer to Terre Haute is temporary, but it will cause a delay in the start of the California proceedings and make it more difficult for his lawyers to visit him and communicate with him. I am hopeful that the authorities transporting him will take into account his age and health problems."
Durst was serving seven years and one month after pleading guilty in New Orleans to a federal weapons charge.
He's charged in California with killing his friend Susan Berman in 2000 to keep her from talking to New York prosecutors about the disappearance of his first wife in 1982. In April, Kathleen Durst's family asked a judge in New York to declare her legally dead — a step needed to file a wrongful death suit against Durst.
Durst was detained the night before HBO broadcast the finale of a documentary about him, the two women, and the death of a neighbor in Galveston, Texas. He was arrested early the morning of the broadcast.
He was charged in New Orleans with illegally carrying a .38-caliber revolver after being convicted of a felony. Judge Kurt Engelhardt said a presentence report recommended 12 to 18 months under federal guidelines. However, he said, the longer sentence was reasonable because the plea deal included agreements with U.S. attorneys in Houston and Manhattan and the Orleans Parish district attorney not to prosecute Durst on a variety of offenses which could have carried sentences longer than 85 months.
When Durst was sentenced on the weapons charge in April, he told the judge, "I have been waiting to get to California about a year so I can state my not guilty plea. I truly, truly want to express my statement that I am not guilty in the death of Susan Berman."
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