Robert Durst remains hospitalized, on ventilator with COVID-19

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Robert Durst, seated with attorney Dick DeGuerin, is sentenced to life without possibility of parole for the killing of Susan Berman Thursday, Oct. 14, 2021 at the Airport Courthouse in Los Angeles. New York real estate heir Robert Durst was sentenced Thursday to life in prison without chance of parole for the murder of his best friend more that two decades ago. (Myung J. Chung/Los Angeles Times via AP, Pool)

LOS ANGELES (NewsNation Now) —  Real estate heir Robert Durst remains hospitalized and on a ventilator after testing positive for COVID-19. 

Durst’s attorney, Dick DeGuerin, confirmed the 78-year-old tested positive for the virus on Saturday. He said Durst is having difficulty breathing and speaking. 

The Los Angeles Superior Court said in a statement Saturday that the court had been notified someone present for Thursday’s sentencing hearing for Durst had tested positive for COVID-19.

“As a result, the Court will follow CDC and LA County Department of Public Health guidelines for assessing close contacts of the infected individual,” the statement read.

No additional COVID-19 cases have been reported.

Durst, who has numerous medical issues, was sentenced to life in prison on Thursday for murdering his best friend, Susan Berman, in her home more than two decades ago. He sat in a wheelchair with a catatonic stare during much of the sentencing hearing.

“He was very, very sick in the courtroom,” DeGuerin said Saturday.

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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 a documentary that unearthed new evidence and caught him in a stunning confession. 

DeGuerin said Thursday that Durst will appeal.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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