NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Lawyers for jailed millionaire Robert Durst say he wants authorities to return more than $161,000 in cash now held by New Orleans police.
The attorneys say Durst got the money legally and it is neither needed for evidence nor subject to forfeiture.
Durst was arrested at the J.W. Marriott hotel in New Orleans on a Los Angeles County warrant accusing him of killing his friend Susan Berman in 2000 to keep her from talking to investigators about the disappearance of his first wife in 1982.
His lawyers say the arrest early March 15 was timed to mesh with the finale that night of “The Jinx,” HBO’s six-part series about Durst, his wife’s disappearance, Berman’s death, and the death and dismemberment of Durst’s neighbor Morris Black in 2001.
Authorities found more than $44,000 in Durst’s hotel room, according to legal papers filed Wednesday. After his arrest, they intercepted a package containing personal items and $117,000 that was sent to the hotel for Everette Ward - the name Durst used to register there.
During a hearing last month, a prosecutor said the package of $100 bills, a head-and-chest latex mask and a map folded to show Louisiana, Florida and Cuba were evidence that Durst was likely to flee if bond was set for him.
He is being held without bond on the California warrant and on state and federal weapons charges in Louisiana.
Durst’s attorneys also are making a second attempt to get the FBI agents and state trooper who arrested Durst to testify in state court. A statement filed with the court on Wednesday shows that a private investigator delivered subpoenas Monday to Agents Crystal Bender and William C. Williams and to Trooper Saunders Craine.
Federal prosecutors moved earlier subpoenas, which ordered them to testify before a Criminal District Court magistrate, to federal court. The new subpoenas call for them to testify before Judge Franz Zibilich, according to the statement.
Durst’s attorneys did not immediately respond to an email asking whether they expect prosecutors to move the new subpoenas, what Durst plans to do with the money if he gets it back, and the total of his legal bills so far.
U.S. Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Anna Christman said she could not comment about the subpoenas.
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