updated 2/12/2004 9:24:59 PM ET 2004-02-13T02:24:59

Millionaire Robert Durst, who was acquitted of murdering his elderly neighbor, was indicted Thursday on evidence tampering for disposing of the body parts.

Durst testified at his trial that he accidentally shot Morris Black as they struggled for a gun. He claimed he panicked before cutting up the body and dumping the pieces in Galveston Bay in 2001.

One of Durst’s attorneys, Dick DeGuerin, called the new indictment “sour grapes” from prosecutors after the November acquittal.

“Both sides tried the case fairly, the judge gave us a fair trial, and a jury of 12 Galveston citizens found he did not murder Morris Black,” DeGuerin said. “This clearly shows the D.A.’s office is ticked off and they’re trying to retaliate.”

Judge Susan Criss, who presided over Durst’s trial last year, set bond on the new charge at $1 billion. Durst’s lawyers are appealing a $2 billion bond she set in December on two counts of bond jumping after Criss was unsympathetic to their arguments that it was excessive.

Another defense attorney, Michael Ramsey, said Durst, who remains jailed on the bond jumping charges, had been prepared to plead no contest to those pending charges, reimburse the county for its expenses in investigating his case, and leave Galveston with credit for more than two years already served behind bars.

“They turned that down, and instead they want to go back to trial. We gleefully will accommodate them,” Ramsey said.

Galveston County District Attorney Kurt Sistrunk was unavailable for comment Thursday because he was involved in another investigation, his staff said.

Durst is the son of the late Seymour Durst, patriarch of the Durst Organization, a billion-dollar real estate company that owns several New York skyscrapers.

He has been estranged from his family since the early 1990s and remains under suspicion in the disappearance of his first wife and the later shooting death of her friend. He has not been charged in either case.

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