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Judge: Evidence from fugitive real estate heir's room may be used to press gun charge


NEW ORLEANS — A federal judge says prosecutors may use evidence obtained from the hotel room and during questioning of fugitive real estate heir Robert Durst. The ruling allows federal prosecutors to continue with a weapons charge that is keeping Durst in Louisiana even though he faces a murder charge in Los Angeles.

Durst's lawyers say the warrant to search his hotel room was invalid because it was based on a previous warrantless search by FBI agents.

Judge Helen Berrigan ruled Tuesday that the judge who signed the warrant had other reasons to find probable cause for a search. She noted that the sworn statement supporting the search warrant was almost identical to one supporting an arrest warrant sworn out three days earlier.

Durst's attorneys did not immediately answer an email requesting comment.

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