New York real estate heir Robert Durst was sentenced Thursday to life in prison without a chance of parole for the murder of his best friend more than two decades ago. Durst, who has numerous medical issues, sat in a wheelchair with a catatonic stare during much of the sentencing hearing.
Now Durst has been hospitalized after contracting COVID-19, his lawyer said Saturday.
Defense attorney Dick DeGuerin announced that Durst was admitted after testing positive for the coronavirus, according to the Associated Press. DeGuerin said Durst was on a ventilator, but knew nothing more of his client’s condition and was trying to find out more details. Durst, 78, was “very, very sick in the courtroom,” DeGuerin said Saturday.
A multimillionaire whose grandfather founded one of New York City’s premier real estate companies, Durst was long a suspect but never charged in the disappearance of his wife Kathleen McCormack, who went missing in New York in 1982. Durst was convicted in Los Angeles Superior Court last month of first-degree murder for shooting his longtime friend Susan Berman point-blank in the back of the head at her home in December 2000. The killing had been a mystery that haunted family and friends for 15 years before Durst was arrested in 2015 following his unwise decision to participate in “The Jinx”, an HBO documentary that unearthed new evidence and caught him in a stunning confession. Durst’s sentencing was long-delayed punishment for a man who mostly evaded the law for more than 39 years.
BREAKING: Robert Durst has tested positive for COVID-19 and is currently on a ventilator, his attorney confirms. Story soon @latimes
— James Queally (@JamesQueallyLAT) October 16, 2021
It was not immediately clear where Durst is being treated. During his trial, he was held in the USC Medical Center under the custody of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
[This is a breaking and developing story, please check back for more details]