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Judge Declines to Lower Bond for Durst

December 18, 2003

GALVESTON, Texas (AP) _ A judge declined to lower the $2 billion bond Thursday on bond jumping charges for New York real estate heir Robert Durst, who was acquitted last month of murdering his elderly neighbor.

``The law doesn’t say that every person is entitled to a bond that they can afford,″ said Judge Susan Criss, unsympathetic to sometimes heated arguments from Durst’s attorneys that Durst was entitled under the Constitution to a reasonable bond.

``I disagree with you, judge,″ attorney Michael Ramsey said. ``There’s no murder case pending. We’re dealing with a third-degree felony, that’s all.″ The attorneys, who had asked for $50,000 bond, said they would appeal.

Criss, who set the $2 billion bond Dec. 3, cited Durst’s wealth and history of running when facing accusations or problems.

Although Durst was found innocent of intentionally killing Morris Black, 71, he has remained jailed because he fled Galveston after his 2001 arrest.

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