Robert Durst Pleads Not Guilty to Louisiana Drug, Gun Charges

Enters plea at short hearing in New Orleans.

April 9, 2015, 1:12 PM

— -- Robert Durst has pleaded not guilty to drug and weapons charges stemming from his arrest last month in New Orleans.

The New York real estate heir was arrested in March at a New Orleans hotel on a warrant tied to a 2000 killing of his friend, Susan Berman, in Los Angeles. During Durst's arrest, police said, they found a gun and marijuana, leading to state charges of illegal possession of a firearm by a felon and illegal possession of a firearm in the presence of a controlled substance.

Durst, 71, also faces a potential federal weapons charge, possession of a firearm by a felon, over the same gun allegedly discovered in his hotel room during his arrest. Durst pleaded guilty in 2004 to a previous federal weapons charge.

The circumstances surrounding the search of Durst's hotel room have come under scrutiny, as Durst's attorney, Dick DeGuerin, argued in a previous court hearing that they were done illegally.

Durst appeared shackled in a New Orleans court today and entered his plea on the state charges after DeGuerin whispered in his ear, according to The Associated Press.

"I am not guilty, your honor," he said, according to the AP. Asked if he was pleading not guilty to both charges, Durst said, "Yes, your honor."

After the court scheduled a May 7 evidentiary hearing, DeGuerin told reporters that Durst's team would be in federal court this afternoon over the potential federal charge.

"I feel like we’re being tag-teamed," DeGuerin said, "and I feel like we’ve got to be in California where the main case is so we can try the case."

DeGuerin has been fighting to have Durst extradited to California so he can face the murder charge. Though he has not yet had to enter a plea in the California case, DeGuerin has said publicly that Durst did not murder Berman.

Durst's arrest on the murder charge came just before HBO aired the final episode of a multi-part documentary featuring interviews with Durst, "The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst," in which Durst was confronted with evidence relating to Berman's murder and then recorded making possibly incriminating statements over an open microphone while in the bathroom.

Durst is being held without bail at a Louisiana state prison.

ABC News' Meghan Keneally contributed to this report.

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