Robert Durst, 61, who served 5½ months for carrying a weapon across state lines while a fugitive, was freed just before 10 a.m. and apparently whisked away in a limousine. He has three days to report to parole authorities in Texas.
Durst was acquitted of murder in 2003 after testifying he accidentally shot 71-year-old Morris Black while they struggled over a gun. He admitted cutting up the body and dumping it in Galveston Bay, saying he panicked after the gun fired.
The prison term that ended Friday stemmed from Durst's arrest in Bethlehem, Pa., where he had fled. While on the lam, he was caught shoplifting a sandwich at a grocery store and was found to have two .38-caliber pistols in his possession.
He was sentenced to nine months in prison but received credit for time served, said Thomas Jones, executive assistant at the Federal Correctional Institution.
Jones said Durst was released about 9:55 a.m., about the same time a black limousine with darkened windows pulled away from the prison's entrance. Durst's lawyer had said earlier his client wanted the release to be quiet.
While living in Galveston, Durst posed as a mute woman and lived in a dingy apartment.
Durst is the son of the late Seymour Durst, patriarch of the Durst Organization, a privately held, billion-dollar real estate company that owns several New York skyscrapers. Durst has been estranged from his family since the early 1990s.