UPDATE 10:45am A New Orleans judge has ruled that Robert Durst will continue to be held without bail. A preliminary hearing on criminal charges will be held on April 2.
UPDATE 10:18am In addition to the 446 $100 bills, “flesh-toned” latex mask with “salt-and-pepper” hair, and travel documents Durst had in his possession at the time of his arrest, a UPS package was being delivered to the hotel containing shoes and an additional $117,000.
Durst was also found with a map featuring Florida and Cuba, which lends credence to the theory that he was planning to flee to Cuba, Foret says.
The hearing has returned to its primary focus, which is to determine whether Durst indeed poses a flight risk or danger to the community were he to be released on bond. The state is arguing that he does, and the defense’s primary form of argument has been challenging the legality of the Los Angeles arrest warrant used to apprehend him.
It was during that arrest that police found the loaded revolver, a possible felony weapon possession that New Orleans authorities may decide to prosecute — the reason Durst is still in Louisiana and not back in Los Angeles to face trial for the 2000 murder of Susan Berman.
UPDATE 9:55am Fox News personality Jeanine Pirro, the former Westchester County, NY district attorney who reopened the investigation into the disappearance of Durst’s first wife, Kathie McCormack, was briefly ordered out of the courtroom while lawyers discussed whether she could be called to testify.
Durst’s lawyer Dick DeGuerin called her as a surprise witness, after saying at the outset of the bond hearing that the defense did not plan to call witnesses. Foret said he believes this is part of a diversion tactic to derail the hearing, and it’s working.
If I was prosecutor I would not want her anywhere around this hearing. We are now officially off track. Defense diversion is working.
— Donald Chick Foret (@chickforet) March 23, 2015
Pirro, who has had DeGuerin on her Fox News show “Justice with Judge Jeanine” as a guest, argued she was attending the hearing as a journalist. The New Orleans judge ultimately agreed and ruled Pirro would not be called.
PREVIOUS: Accused murderer Robert Durst, subject of HBO documentary “The Jinx,” is in the midst of a bond hearing in New Orleans to determine whether he can be released, following his arrest on Mar. 14.
So far it has been revealed that authorities began tracking Durst in Texas, charting his movements west along Interstate 10 using pings from his cell phone. But after an episode of “The Jinx” aired on Mar. 9 that revealed the potentially damning “CADAVER” letter, Durst’s cell went quiet.
Investigators found Durst when he called to check his voicemail from the JW Marriott hotel in New Orleans. When they arrived, FBI agents checked reservations against a list of at least 10 known Durst aliases, but there were no matches. Agents searched the lobby of the hotel, and caught Durst when he responded to one officer who called out his name.
According to veteran attorney Chick Foret, who is inside the New Orleans courtroom right now and has been present at all of Durst’s hearings, today’s proceedings are aimed at determining whether Durst can be released on bond.
District Attorney Mark Burton will attempt to prove that Durst is an extreme flight risk, using evidence including the items Durst was found with when he was caught on Mar. 14 in addition to Durst’s dicey legal history — including possible felony convictions.
Check out Foret’s tweets from inside the courtroom here, and check back for regular updates on the hearing: