By Kathy Finn NEW ORLEANS (Reuters) - Real estate scion Robert Durst, who has been charged with murder in California, pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to a federal gun charge stemming from his arrest last month in New Orleans. Durst's lawyers have sought his extradition to Los Angeles County, where prosecutors want him in connection with the 2000 killing of a longtime friend, Susan Berman, in a case recently chronicled in the HBO documentary series "The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst." But the federal charge and similar Louisiana state weapons charges mean that Durst, 72, is likely to remain in Louisiana for the foreseeable future. Appearing frail, Durst entered his not guilty plea before Judge Lance Africk in the Eastern District of Louisiana, who scheduled a hearing in the case on June 11, with a trial to begin on June 22. The final episode of the HBO series aired a day after his March 14 arrest at a New Orleans hotel, where authorities said he was staying under an assumed name with $42,000 in cash, a revolver, about five ounces of marijuana and a latex mask.
By Keith Coffman CENTENNIAL, Colo. (Reuters) - Lawyers in Colorado's cinema massacre case questioned the last prospective jurors on Tuesday before opening statements scheduled this month in the murder trial of gunman James Holmes.
By Jonathan Spicer NEW YORK (Reuters) - The New York branch of the U.S. Federal Reserve, wary that a natural disaster or other eventuality could shut down its market operations as it approaches an interest rate hike, has added staff and bulked up its satellite office in Chicago. Some market technicians have transferred from New York and others were hired at the office housed in the Chicago Fed, according to several people familiar with the build-out that began about two years ago, after Hurricane Sandy struck Manhattan. Officials believe the Chicago staffers can now handle all of the market operations that are done daily out of the New York Fed, which is the U.S. central bank's main conduit to Wall Street. With rates having been near zero for more than six years, and markets flooded with reserves, the Fed will rely on an array of new tools to help it tighten policy, likely later this year.
By David Beasley ATLANTA (Reuters) - Eight former Atlanta public school educators were ordered on Tuesday to serve between one and seven years in prison for their convictions on racketeering charges in one of the nation's largest test-cheating scandals. The lengthy prison sentences, unusual for educators, contrasted to the treatment of two defendants in the case also found guilty by a jury this month. Superior Court Judge Jerry Baxter gave three of the 11 educators convicted in the scandal 20-year sentences, with seven years to be served in prison and the rest on probation.
HUNTSVILLE, Texas (AP) — Manuel Garza Jr. already had a lengthy criminal record and was wanted on outstanding warrants when a police officer working on a special team targeting property crimes stopped him at a San Antonio apartment complex in 2001.
By Natasja Sheriff NEW YORK (Reuters) - Prosecutors in the trial of a former deli worker accused of murdering a New York boy said on Tuesday that the child's 1979 disappearance, which launched a movement to find missing children, marked "a loss of innocence" for the city and nation. Pedro Hernandez, 54, is charged with kidnapping and murdering 6-year-old Etan Patz, who vanished as he walked alone for the first time to a school bus stop in his Manhattan neighborhood. His disappearance focused attention on the plight of missing children, and his picture was one of the first to appear on milk cartons.