Dick DeGuerin, one of Durst’s attorneys, told The Post in a text message that he was notified of his client testing positive for the coronavirus. DeGuerin said he could not say whether Durst was on a ventilator, adding that he was “not able to give out private medical information.”
“I’m very concerned about his health,” DeGuerin said. “On Thursday in court, he was having difficulty breathing and speaking. I will have no further information to share publicly.”
A spokesman with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department confirmed to The Post that Durst was still being held in its custody as of Saturday. Online records show he’s being held at the USC Medical Center under the watch of the sheriff’s department. The spokesman said the sheriff’s department had no comment on Durst’s coronavirus infection and could not answer questions about his health due to HIPAA privacy rules.
Durst, whose life story inspired an HBO documentary that ultimately helped lead to his conviction, has a long history of medical issues. He was in a wheelchair during much of the sentencing hearing, often with catatonic stare as a judge sentenced him for shooting Berman in the back of the head at her home in December 2000. DeGuerin said after the sentencing that Durst planned to appeal.
Durst was convicted last month in Los Angeles Superior Court of first-degree murder. The verdict came after multiple attempts to prosecute him for crimes spanning nearly four decades. He was not in court for the Sept. 17 verdict because he had been recently exposed to someone with the coronavirus.
DeGuerin told NBC News that he believed Durst was vaccinated, but he was not sure whether he received a booster shot.
Durst’s health issues are well-documented. In June, he was briefly hospitalized for what Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Mark Windham described as “some incident … involving his health.” The judge later denied DeGuerin’s request to delay the murder trial due to Durst fighting bladder cancer and other issues, the attorney said. Durst’s attorneys also repeatedly sought a mistrial, claiming to the judge that Durst was too sick to testify and defend himself. That effort was also rejected.
A physician at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center who previously examined Durst testified that Durst suffered a “mini stroke” during a 2019 court hearing, according to the Times. The same physician testified that Durst was “profoundly malnourished” and at risk of “sudden death” due to elevated levels of potassium.
The guilty verdict last month capped a long journey for authorities who sought to prosecute Durst for killings in three states without success. He was never charged in the case of his wife, Kathie McCormack, who was 29 when she disappeared in 1982. She was never found. He was acquitted in Morris Black’s slaying in 2001, even though he admitted to dismembering Black’s body and tossing it out to sea in Galveston, Tex.
Durst, who once quipped that he was “the worst fugitive the world has ever met,” became the subject of tabloid and film frenzy that stretched from New York to Los Angeles for decades, even as families of the victims demanded justice.
His participation in the HBO documentary series “The Jinx” led to him being captured and confessing to the crime. John Lewin, the Los Angeles County deputy district attorney who prosecuted the case, used the tycoon’s own words from “The Jinx” in his opening statements of the murder trial: “Killed them all, of course.” He was also recorded muttering in a bathroom, “There it is. You’re caught.”