NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The Orleans Parish District Attorney dropped state weapon charges Thursday against millionaire real estate heir Robert Durst. The move clears the way for federal prosecutors in New Orleans to pursue similar charges.
"It's always been a priority of District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro to maintain a close working relationship with our federal law enforcement partners," Assistant District Attorney Chris Bowman said. "Working in conjunction with the U.S. Attorney's office, it was determined that case will be prosecuted in federal court."
Durst was charged with possession of a firearm by a felon and possession of a firearm along with a controlled substance. A grand jury indicted him on April 8.
FBI agents said they found a gun and marijuana in his hotel room on March 14. However, Durst's attorneys said the state did not try to meet the burden of probable cause. They also claimed the state filed an unauthenticated copy of Durst's arrest warrant.
Defense attorney Dick DeGuerin said he is pleased with the decision and that his client should not be tried in state and federal court for the same crime.
In an unrelated case, Durst faces a murder charge in California. He is suspected in the 1982 disappearance of his first wife. Durst was also tried and acquitted in the killing of a neighbor back in 2001. Durst is the subject of an HBO documentary, "The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst."
He could still face more legal issues in New Orleans after federal prosecutors conclude their proceedings.
"The district attorney's office reserved its right to look at the charges again at the conclusion of the case in federal court," Bowman said.
Durst is being held in Orleans Parish Prison with no bond.