Eccentric US tycoon Robert Durst has been transferred to a jail for mentally ill inmates pending further hearings after his arrest for the killing of a mobster’s daughter, an official said Wednesday.
Media reports suggested Durst was suicidal, but the official in the local sheriff’s office would only say he was moved on health grounds to the facility near New Orleans late Tuesday.
“Mr Durst was moved for medical reasons,” spokesman Phil Stelly of the Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office told AFP.
Blake Arcuri, a prosecution lawyer, was quoted by the Los Angeles Times as saying “He’s suicidal.” Stelly would not confirm that.
It was the latest twist in the case of the 71-year-old Durst, a bizarre murder mystery laid bare in a TV documentary.
Durst — the scion of a New York real estate dynasty worth $4.4 billion — was charged in Los Angeles on Monday with murder over the 2000 death of his close friend Susan Berman.
He appeared to make an unwitting confession to a number of killings during filming of the acclaimed six-part HBO documentary “The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst.”
In the final episode, broadcast on Sunday, Durst is heard muttering to himself, “What the hell did I do? Killed them all, of course” — apparently unaware that a wireless microphone remained switched on while he used the bathroom.
It was not clear if Durst was sincerely confessing, but authorities in Los Angeles reportedly said the documentary had played a role in their decision to seek the multimillionaire’s arrest for Berman’s murder.
Claiming that TV ratings are driving the prosecution, lawyers for Durst say they want the case to go to trial in California as soon as possible.
But prosecutors in New Orleans, where Durst was arrested on Saturday, are pursuing minor gun and drug charges against him.
When police arrived at his hotel room, he was found with a .38 caliber revolver and marijuana, police say.
“We will continue to fight for Bob. We want to get to California as quickly as we can so we can get into a court of law and try this case where it needs to be tried,” said Durst’s attorney Dick DeGuerin.
Berman was shot in the back of her head at her home in Beverly Hills, a day before she was due to be questioned by police who had reopened an investigation into the 1982 disappearance of the tycoon’s wife, Kathie Durst, in New York.
Durst is due back in court on the gun and drug charges next Monday in New Orleans.
‘Putin’s favorite congressman’ offered Julian Assange a pardon if he covered up Russian meddling: lawyers
American prosecutors said this week that former Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) offered WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange a pardon from President Donald Trump if he agreed to help cover up Russia's role in interfering in the 2016 presidential election.
The Daily Beast reports that witness Jennifer Robinson has testified that she attended a meeting between Rohrabacher and Assange in 2017 in which he made a direct quid-pro-quo offer.
A Republican witness gets humiliated when the author of a study he cited refutes him
During a hearing on Thursday, September 17, Bharat Ramamurti of the Congressional Oversight Commission questioned Republican Chris Edwards on the benefits of federal aid to states. Edwards, during the hearing, questioned the benefits of that type of aid. But Ramamurti skillfully used a study that Edwards cited to make a case in favor of federal aid to states — not against it.
Ramamurti, a Democrat who was appointed to the Congressional Oversight Commission by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer earlier this year, noted that Edwards has claimed that a 2019 study by economics professor Valerie Rainey of the University of California shows that a dollar of federal aid to states results in less than a dollar of economic growth. And Edwards responded that yes, Rainey’s study did show that.
Black voters in North Carolina are seeing their mail-in ballots rejected 4 times more than white voters
Early voting has started in North Carolina, and many Black voters in the state are already seeing their mail-in ballots getting rejected at a higher rate than white voters.
FiveThirtyEight's Kaleigh Rogers reports that "Black voters’ ballots are being rejected at more than four times the rate of white voters" in North Carolina as of September 17th.
In total, Black voters have seen 642 of the 13,747 ballots cast rejected, a rejection rate of 4.7 percent. White voters, in contrast, have seen 681 out of 60,954 ballots cast rejected, which is a rejection rate of 1.1 percent.