The New York real estate heir faces 85 months in prison

By Chris Harris
Updated February 03, 2016 at 11:05 PM EST
Credit: Jefferson Siegel/NY Daily News via Getty Images

On Wednesday morning, New York real estate heir and alleged murderer Robert Durst pleaded guilty to a single gun charge in federal court in New Orleans.

Lead prosecutor Michael McMahon confirms to PEOPLE that Durst faces 85 months in prison.

The 72-year-old has been in custody in Louisiana since his arrest in March, and initially pleaded not guilty to the charge.

As a convicted felon, Durst is legally barred from carrying a gun. But law enforcement officials recovered a handgun from Durst’s hotel room while executing an arrest warrant on March 14.

Durst, who is being held without bail, also faces murder charges in Los Angeles, where he is accused in the unsolved slaying of Susan Berman, his longtime friend.

McMahon says the judge presiding over Durst’s federal case could move to reject the plea deal during the millionaire’s sentencing, which is set for April 27.

Wednesday’s guilty plea will expedite Durst’s extradition to Los Angeles on the pending murder charge, according to a statement by Dick DeGuerin, Durst’s attorney.

“By an agreement between several jurisdictions, there will be no other prosecutions of Bob Durst and he will be transferred to California for trial on the Susan Berman murder accusation,” the statement read.

In October, DeGuerin told PEOPLE that Durst is eager to finally get have his say in court on the pending murder charge.

DeGuerin’s statement Wednesday said, “Bob Durst did not kill Susan Berman and doesn’t know who did, and he’s eager to get to California to prove it. His legal team has been working to ‘clear the decks’ of other investigations so he can get to California as soon as possible. What his plea today will accomplish is to expedite his transfer.”

Durst ignored his attorneys’ advice and served as the subject of the Emmy-winning HBO documentary series The Jinx, which focused on the disappearance of Durst’s first wife Kathleen and the murder of Berman.

The family of Durst’s wife Kathleen – who went missing in 1982 – has filed a lawsuit against Durst on “right of sepulcher” grounds, claiming he denied the family its right to choose a method of burial for their deceased relative.

The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst

Filmmaker Andrew Jarecki examines the complicated life of reclusive real estate scion, Robert Durst, the key suspect in a series of unsolved crimes.
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