Police Raid Robert Durst's Texas Home

CNN/Stylemagazine.com Newswire | 3/18/2015, 8:57 a.m.
Police raided millionaire heir Robert Durst's home in Houston, Texas, on Tuesday, a day after he was charged with first-degree ...
Robert Durst,

By Catherine E. Shoichet and Chandler Friedman


(CNN) -- Police raided millionaire heir Robert Durst's home in Houston, Texas, on Tuesday, a day after he was charged with first-degree murder.

Dick DeGuerin, Durst's attorney, confirmed that investigators were searching the home.

It was not immediately clear what they were looking for inside Durst's 14th-floor condo, where he has lived for many years, CNN affiliate KTRK reported.

The raid comes days after FBI agents arrested Durst in a New Orleans hotel. The Los Angeles County District Attorney filed a first-degree murder charge against him on Monday, accusing Durst of shooting and killing close friend Susan Berman in December 2000. If convicted, he could face the death penalty.

"I think it's ridiculous for them to be making a search 15 years after Susan Berman was killed, and they're searching a place in Houston," DeGuerin told CNN.

Durst remains jailed in New Orleans, where he's facing drug and weapons charges stemming from his arrest over the weekend.

Durst's alleged connections with Berman's death and two others were the focus of HBO's true crime documentary, "The Jinx."

DeGuerin has claimed it's no coincidence authorities moved in to arrest Durst just as the documentary's finale was about to air. And on Tuesday, he said he wasn't surprised about the Houston raid, either.

"I'm not surprised they're acting like a bunch of Keystone Kops, particularly after being embarrassed by the TV program," he said. "And I'll be even more surprised if they find anything of any evidentiary value whatsoever.

A neighbor in Durst's Houston condo complex told KTRK she saw him leave with two suitcases last week, and that his assistant came several days later and took most of his belongings.

Prosecutors accuse Durst of "lying in wait" and killing Berman, a crime writer and his longtime confidante, because she was a witness to a crime. She was shot in the head in her Beverly Hills, California, home in December 2000, shortly before investigators were set to speak with her about the disappearance of Durst's first wife in 1982.

Durst has long maintained he had nothing to do with Berman's death or his wife's disappearance, though some have questioned whether comments he made at the end of the documentary -- muttering under his breath in the bathroom that he "killed them all" -- could be interpreted as a confession.

In a 2003 murder trial, Durst admitted he'd killed a neighbor in Galveston, Texas, and chopped up the body. He was acquitted after his attorneys argued he'd acted in self-defense, though he later served serve nine months in prison on felony weapons charges stemming from that case.

DeGuerin told reporters Monday that his client didn't kill Berman.

"He's ready to end all the rumor and speculation and have a trial," DeGuerin said.

But it's unclear when a trial could take place.

Durst waived his right to fight extradition to Los Angeles, but because prosecutors in New Orleans are pursuing charges against him, he remains jailed there.

Durst drove from Houston to New Orleans a week ago. Investigators believe he planned to travel from there to Cuba, a law enforcement official told CNN.

Investigators found a Smith & Wesson .38-caliber revolver and about 147 grams (5.2 ounces) of marijuana in his hotel room, according to court documents. He was booked in New Orleans on charges of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and possession of a firearm in the presence of a controlled dangerous substance.

He may be moved soon to a different Louisiana prison where inmates with "an acute medical condition" are sent, DeGuerin said. Court documents filed Tuesday say Durst will receive medications while imprisoned, "including but not limited to hydrocodone as needed for pain."

CNN's Dave Alsup, Holly Yan, Chris Welch, Shimon Prokupecz and Kevin Conlon contributed to this report.

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