Robert Durst hospitalized with COVID-19, his lawyer says

FILE - In this Friday, Jan. 6, 2017, file photo, real estate heir Robert Durst appears in Los Angeles Superior Court Airport Branch for a hearing in Los Angeles. A Los Angeles jury convicted Robert Durst Friday, Sept. 17, 2021 of murdering his best friend 20 years ago in a case that took on new life after the New York real estate heir participated in a documentary that connected him to the slaying linked to his wifes 1982 disappearance. (Mark Boster/Los Angeles Times via AP, Pool, File) (Mark Boster)

LOS ANGELES – New York real estate heir Robert Durst, who days ago was sentenced in a two-decade-old murder case, has been hospitalized after contracting COVID-19, his lawyer said Saturday,

Defense Attorney Dick DeGuerin said he was notified that Durst was admitted after testing positive for the coronavirus. DeGuerin told multiple media outlets that Durst is on a ventilator. Additional details on his condition were not immediately made available.

The Los Angeles Superior Court said in a statement Saturday that the court was notified someone present for the sentencing hearing for Durst on Thursday 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, 78, was sentenced Thursday to life in prison without a chance of parole for the murder of his best friend more than two decades ago. Durst, who has numerous medical issues, 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.

He was convicted in Los Angeles Superior Court last month of first-degree murder for shooting Susan Berman point-blank in the back of the head at her home in December 2000.

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.