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Robert Durst pleads guilty to gun charge in New Orleans

Robert Durst is escorted into Orleans Parish Prison

Robert Durst is escorted into Orleans Parish Prison after his arraignment in Orleans Parish Criminal District Court in New Orleans on Tuesday, March 17, 2015. He pleaded guilty to a federal gun charge in New Orleans on Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016, setting the stage for his return to California to face charges in the 2000 death of a longtime friend. Credit: AP / Gerald Herbert

A New York real estate heir pleaded guilty in New Orleans on Wednesday to a weapons charge and agreed to an 85-month prison sentence, a move that could usher in his extradition to California to face murder charges.

U.S. District Judge Kurt Engelhardt told Robert Durst that he will not make the plea final before he reviews a pre-sentencing report due in two weeks.

Durst, 72, admitted he illegally carried a .38-caliber revolver after being convicted of a felony. The charge stems from his arrest in a New Orleans hotel last year by FBI agents who feared he was about to flee to Cuba. The gun was found in the hotel room he had taken under the name Everette Ward.

Durst was charged last year with the 2000 death of his friend Susan Berman after mumbling “killed them all” during the taping of an HBO documentary. His lawyer, Richard DeGuerin, says Durst did not kill Berman.

An estranged member of the wealthy New York real estate family that runs One World Trade Center, Durst is accused of killing Berman to keep her from talking to prosecutors about the disappearance of Durst’s first wife, Kathleen, a former New Hyde Park resident, who was last seen leaving a Westchester party in 1982 after Durst called her. Though declared legally dead in 1988, her body was never found.

In November, Kathleen Durst’s sisters and mother — Ann McCormack of New Hyde Park — filed a $100 million wrongful death lawsuit in Nassau County, alleging Robert Durst hid her body and deprived them of the right to dispose of her remains.

With Darran Simon

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