Louisiana prosecutors on Thursday dropped gun and drug charges against Robert Durst, the real estate heir facing murder charges in Los Angeles, after his arrest under an assumed name in a New Orleans hotel last month.
While executing a search warrant for a cold case homicide from LA, investigators in New Orleans claimed to have found Durst with a .38 caliber revolver, five ounces of marijuana, a latex mask, $42,000 in cash and a fake Texas ID, USA Today and the Los Angeles Times reported.
The decision by Orleans Parish District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro's office to drop the Louisiana charges begins disentangling the web of recent allegations that have snared Durst, 71, according to The Times-Picayune.
Durst's arrest on March 15 in a New Orleans hotel room came as a documentary stirred fresh suspicion about his involvement in the 2000 murder of his companion, Susan Berman, in LA.
Durst participated in a multi-part HBO documentary called "The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst." Filmmakers interviewed Durst, a wealthy New Yorker, about the 1982 disappearance of his wife Kathleen Durst, the shooting of Berman in her home, and the brutal slaying of a Galveston, Texas, neighbor that Durst claimed was self-defense.
Police arrested Durst on charges of Berman's murder hours ahead of the documentary's final episode, which featured Durst, his microphone still live after the interview had finished, muttering, "What the hell did I do? Killed them all, of course."
Thursday's decision satisfies a hope of Durst's attorneys, who didn't want him charged with state and federal crimes from the same arrest in a hotel room in the French Quarter.
Durst still faces a federal charge for allegedly possessing a firearm as a felon when the FBI busted him, according to WWL-TV.
That charge must be cleared up before Durst travels to Los Angeles to answer the murder charge.
Defense attorneys said they want to settle the Louisiana charges quickly so Durst can respond in court to the murder accusations in Los Angeles.
"We're looking forward to our day in court," said Durst attorney Dick DeGuerin in an email, cited by the Journal-News.
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