Robert Durst Will Head to California for a Murder Trial This Summer

Real estate heir Robert Durst appears in a criminal courtroom for his trial on charges of trespassing on property owned by his estranged family, in New York
“Killed them all? Of course … not.” Photo: Mike Segar/Corbis

Robert Durst will be extradited to Los Angeles next August, to face trial for the murder of his friend Susan Berman. The Los Angeles County district attorney’s office and Durst’s lawyers filed a joint agreement for the real-estate heir’s return to California by no later than August 18.

Presently, Durst is jailed in Louisiana on a federal weapons charge. But according to court filings obtained by the Associated Press, Durst has struck a plea deal on that relatively minor infraction, allowing his venerable legal team to put their full focus on helping the HBO anti-hero win the second murder trial of his life.

Durst, whose family has been developing real estate in New York City for the past century, became a fixture of local tabloids after his first wife’s disappearance in 1982. Investigators considered Durst a prime suspect, but the case ran cold. The investigation was reopened in 2000. At that time, prosecutors were planning to speak with Durst’s old friend Susan Berman, a writer in Los Angeles who had supported Durst’s alibi in the wake of his wife’s disappearance. But on Christmas Eve of that year, Berman was found shot dead in her home.

Fifteen years and one acquittal on an entirely separate murder charge later, investigators finally acquired sufficient evidence to charge Durst with Berman’s murder, after the 72-year-old seemed to burp out a confession on the final episode of the HBO documentary The Jinx.

Bob Durst didn’t kill Susan Berman and doesn’t know who did,” Dick DeGuerin, one of Durst’s lawyers, said in a statement Tuesday. “He is eager to go to trial and prove his innocence.”

Robert Durst to Face Murder Trial in California