“We were informed that he tested positive, so we are all very concerned,” Durst’s lead defense attorney Dick DeGuerin said in a phone call. DeGuerin said Durst appeared unwell during his sentencing on Thursday.
“He looked terrible at the sentence,” said the lawyer. “I was still really worried then because he was having difficulty breathing, he was having difficulty speaking, worse than he had ever seen.”
He declined to provide additional information about Durst’s medical condition or whereabouts, and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said HIPAA laws prohibit him from disclosing information about Durst’s health.
In an earlier statement to the Los Angeles Times, DeGuerin confirmed that Durst had been hospitalized and placed on a ventilator.
The lawyer said he is concerned for everyone who has been in close contact with Durst, including every member of his legal team and “particularly the deputy who shepherded him in and out of court throughout the trial[and]Was in close contact with him. For a long time.”
DeGuerin said he has not tested positive for the virus and is in the process of re-testing and canceling individual travel plans to avoid close contact with others.
Durst, 78, suffering from bladder cancer and other physical ailments, was convicted by a jury on September 17 of shooting his best friend Susan Berman at their Beverly Hills home in 2000, hours before he was asked by investigators for his mysterious death. Was ready to talk about missing out. First wife, Kathleen McCormack Durst, who was last seen in 1982.
McCormack Durst was pronounced legally dead in 2017. His body has not been found and no one has been charged in the case.
The eccentric heir to the New York real estate empire, Durst took the stand at his months-long trial and denied the murders of McCormack Durst and Berman. They said they found Burman on her bedroom floor with a fatal gunshot wound to the back of the head.
But under cross-examination, he testified that he would have misunderstood himself if he had killed them. Questions from prosecutors also led Durst to admit that he proved himself wrong five times during the trial.
Durst’s health has deteriorated significantly over the years. He has undergone several surgeries, including inserting a shunt into his head to relieve the pressure on his brain.
At the time the jury announced the guilty verdict, he was in coronavirus quarantine in prison, his lawyer had said earlier.
Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly told Durst when he was sentenced. He was sentenced on Thursday.
Granthshala’s Steve Almasy, Cheri Mossberg, Andy Rose and Stephanie Baker contributed to this report.
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