Lawyer: Calif prosecutors could get Durst now, if they want

FILE - In this file photo from Aug. 15, 2014, New York City real estate heir Robert Durst leaves a Houston courtroom. (AP File Photo/Pat Sullivan)
FILE - In this file photo from Aug. 15, 2014, New York City real estate heir Robert Durst leaves a Houston courtroom. (AP File Photo/Pat Sullivan)

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A lawyer for real estate heir Robert Durst says Los Angeles County prosecutors could get custody of him immediately, rather than wait until he’s moved to a federal prison in Indiana to serve time for a weapons conviction.

Durst has been assigned to a prison in Terre Haute to serve a seven-year sentence after pleading guilty to possessing a weapon as a convicted felon. But meanwhile, he’s still facing a murder charge in Los Angeles and is eager to prove his innocence there, said his lawyer, Texas attorney Richard DeGuerin.

“We’ve been begging to get to California since two days after he was arrested,” DeGuerin said Wednesday.

Durst was arrested in March 2015, on the same day HBO aired the finale of “The Jinx,” a 6-part documentary about Durst, the disappearance of his first wife in 1982, the death of his friend Susan Berman in California in 2000 and the 2001 dismemberment killing of a neighbor in Galveston, for which he was acquitted of murder after claiming self-defense.

He waived extradition to California at his first court appearance.

“None of the proceedings against him in California can begin until he’s in California custody,” DeGuerin said.

To get that custody, he said, prosecutors would ask a judge for a habeas corpus writ for Durst’s prosecution.

“They’re going to have to do that eventually, wherever he goes,” he said.

Los Angeles County prosecutor John Lewin wouldn’t comment.

“I have a policy on active cases: I will not talk to the press,” he said.

Durst, 72, has been jailed in Killona, in Louisiana’s St. Charles Parish. His legal team probably won’t be told in advance when he’ll be moved, DeGuerin said.

“We’re still trying to find out the why and see if we can get anything changed about it,” he said.

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