Durst hearing delayed after witnesses don't appear

Durst hearing delayed after witnesses don't appear

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Prosecutors and the defense for Robert Durst will be back in Orleans Parish Criminal District Court next week, much to the frustration of the millionaire's attorneys.

"This is going to be another week in which we've tried to get into court and start the process of trying this case, trying this case or trying the case in L.A.," says Durst's attorney Dick DeGuerin. "We want to be in court, we want to call witnesses, we want to cross examine witnesses."

Judge Harry Cantrell granted the motion to continue after a lot legal wrangling by both sides.

First, prosecutor Mark Burton asked for the preliminary hearing to be continued because he said the defense dropped more than 100 pages of motions on him in the last couple of days and he needed more time to go through them all.

But Cantrell said he was ready to move forward with the preliminary exam on Durst's state gun charges.

So the state then entered Durst's arrest warrant as its only evidence.

Then the defense tried to call the FBI agents who searched Durst's room and the state trooper who made the arrest, but the three were not in court An Assistant US Attorney says his office advised the federal agents not to testify until they had enough time to prepare the two to take the stand.

With no witnesses to call, the preliminary hearing could not move forward so Judge Cantrell continued it until next Thursday.

"You cannot cross examine an affidavit," says DeGuerin. "We're entitled to cross examine the witnesses against us. that's a basic rule of the constitution. we're going to keep trying and we're not going to give up."

Also next week, the FBI agents and state trooper have to show cause of why they were not in court Thursday or they could be held in contempt of court.

Robert Durst remains in custody in Louisiana and is being held on no bond.

He will not be going back to California yet to face the first degree murder charge in the 2000 death of his friend Susan Berman.

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