Robert Durst, the 78-year-old real-estate scion and convicted murderer, has contracted COVID-19 and has been placed on a ventilator, one of his lawyers told the Los Angeles Times on Saturday. Durst was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole on Thursday for murdering his longtime friend and confidante, Susan Berman, in 2000. It is one of three murders Durst is suspected of committing, including of his wife, Kathleen McCormack Durst, in 1982. He infamously seemed to admit to the murders in the 2015 HBO documentary series The Jinx.
According to Durst’s lead attorney, Dick DeGuerin, Durst has been hospitalized and placed on a ventilator after contracting the coronavirus. DeGuerin said Durst’s health had steadily deteriorated over the final weeks of his long trial, adding that Durst looked like “death warmed over” during his sentencing hearing on Thursday.
Durst’s attorneys repeatedly cited his declining health in their numerous efforts to delay or derail the real-estate heir’s trial. Durst has bladder cancer and other health problems, and has undergone multiple surgeries in recent years. He was not present to hear the jury’s guilty verdict on September 17 after he was put in quarantine for an earlier exposure to COVID-19.
It is not clear where Durst is hospitalized or where he contracted the virus. DeGuerin told CNN that he was concerned that all of Durst’s close contacts this week may have been exposed. A spokesperson for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department told NBC News that they could not comment on Durst’s health, citing HIPAA privacy rules.