Robert Durst 'suicidal,' Louisiana sheriff's lawyer says: report

Reuters News
Posted: Mar 18, 2015 1:09 PM

(Reuters) - Robert Durst, the real estate scion awaiting extradition to California on a charge of first-degree murder, is suicidal, the Los Angles Times reported on Wednesday, as court documents showed he was being moved to a jail specializing in mentally ill patients.

Durst, 71, has been charged in Los Angeles County with killing longtime friend Susan Berman in 2000. He was arrested in New Orleans on Saturday, one day before the airing of the final installment of an HBO documentary about his life in which he appears to admit to multiple killings.

"He is suicidal," said Blake Arcuri, an attorney who has represented the Orleans Parish Sheriff's Office in the Durst case, adding that the facility he was transferred to handles severely mentally ill inmates, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The sheriff's office sought successfully to have Durst removed to a jail outside of New Orleans as he awaits a hearing on Monday, with a Louisiana appellate court finding on Tuesday that the sheriff has the authority "to determine where to house inmates in need of mental health treatment," court documents show.

Arcuri did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment. Philip Stelly, a spokesman for the sheriff's office, declined to confirm whether the department views Durst as suicidal, citing medical privacy laws.

(Reporting by Jonathan Kaminsky; Editing by Christian Plumb)