Robert Durst, millionaire convicted of murder, on ventilator with Covid

Robert A. Durst, a former real estate mogul, is on a ventilator at a Los Angeles hospital after testing positive for Covid-19, days after being sentenced to life in prison for the 2000 murder of his confidante.

“We have been informed that he has tested positive for Covid,” said his lawyer, Dick DeGuerin, on Saturday.

Mr Durst, 78, was admitted to LAC + USC Medical Center on Friday night, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department inmate locator. The district attorney’s office said it could not comment due to medical confidentiality laws.

At a sentencing hearing Thursday, Mr. Durst sat slumped in a wheelchair. He was wearing a brown prison sweater and a mask. Sometimes his breathing seemed labored. He lowered his mask, only to raise it a few moments later.

“His health deteriorated over the weeks of the trial,” DeGuerin said. “Thursday he looked like his death had warmed up.”

Mr Durst was frail and suffered from numerous health problems, but he was alert during the four-month trial which ended on September 17 with a conviction for first degree murder. Mr Durst, whose life story inspired a Hollywood film and an HBO documentary, will not be eligible for parole.

The jury that sentenced him in Los Angeles concluded that the prosecution had proved special circumstances – namely, that Mr. Durst shot Susan Berman, a journalist and screenwriter, because he feared she was on. the point of telling investigators what she had learned as a media spokesperson after the disappearance in 1982 of his first wife, Kathie McCormack Durst.

Mr. Durst faces a possible indictment for murder in New York in connection with the disappearance of Kathie Durst. Miriam E. Rocah, district attorney for Westchester County, NY, reopened the investigation earlier this year and planned to present numerous witnesses before a grand jury.

Mr Durst admitted to filmmakers that prior to Ms Durst’s disappearance her marriage included “half-arguments, fights, slaps, pushes” and “wrestling”. But, he insisted, he didn’t kill her.

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