Prosecutors said Durst was charged Monday with first-degree murder in the killing of his friend, Susan Berman.
Durst was arrested in New Orleans over the weekend on a murder warrant and waived extradition to return to Los Angeles to face the charges.
Berman had acted as Durst's spokeswoman after his wife disappeared in 1982.
She was shot in the back of the head in her Los Angeles home in December 2000 just before New York authorities planned to interview her about Kathleen Durst's disappearance.
Prosecutors say Durst would be eligible for execution under special circumstances alleging murder of a witness and lying in wait with use of a gun. They will make that decision later.