Robert Durst, 78, is in a jail hospital after an ‘incident’ involving his health behind bars, the judge presiding over his ongoing murder trial said on Thursday when he dismissed the jury for a long weekend.
‘Mr Durst is not here,’ Judge Mark E. Windham said. ‘We understand he is in the jail hospital because of some incident this morning involving his health.’
Durst is on trial for allegedly killing Susan Berman, 55, in an execution-style shooting in 2000. Prosecutors believe Berman had information on his wife Kathie Durst’s disappearance, which may have motivated Durst to allegedly murder her.
During Thursday’s hearing Deputy District Attorney John Lewin suggested that Durst’s supposed health crisis could be a stall tactic, according to LawandCrime.com.
‘Prosecutor Lewin says Durst has been recorded in previous jail calls saying he was going to fake dementia,’ tweeted reporter Cathy Russon, who was in the courtroom.
‘Lewin says he’s not sure if today is fake or real. Judge says Durst “was down, he was not in his chair.”‘
Robert Durst was hospitalized during Thursday’s court appearance
Defense attorneys Dick DeGuerin (R) and David Z. Chesnoff (L) adjust Robert Durst’s wheelchair as he faces jurors as attorneys begin opening statements in his murder trial at Inglewood Courthouse on May 18, 2021
Durst is in Los Angeles prison on charges of murdering Susan Berman, his longtime friend (together left), to whom he allegedly admitted to killing his wife. Pictured right: Seymour Durst, Robert Durst’s father
Defense attorneys wanted to postpone the trial indefinitely, citing Durst’s bladder cancer diagnosis, LawandCrime.com reported.
He has appeared throughout trial in a wheelchair.
Lewin declined comment when DailyMail.com called him, but lawandcrime.com reported that Lewin told the judge in court, ‘I have no idea whether this is legitimate or not, but.’
Windham is taking the matter seriously, saying, ‘He wouldn’t be taken to the hospital without a legitimate question as to health,’ lawandcrime.com reported.
‘The circumstances this morning were that he was – he was down. He was— he was not in his chair,’ the judge said.
Durst’s lawyer Dick DeGuerin said in an email to DailyMail.com the Durst was hospitalized this morning but didn’t say why. As of 2.20pm, DeGuerin said there’s no update on in Durst’s condition.
In a May interview with DailyMail.com, DeGuerin expressed concerns about Durst’s health saying: ‘His health has deteriorated alarmingly over the past fourteen months since the trial was shut down at the beginning of the Covid pandemic.
‘I’m concerned about whether he can withstand the rigors of trial.
‘We are continuing our request for mistrial through a Writ to the appellate courts, which means we have appealed the trial court’s denial of our latest motion for mistrial.’
Prosecutors have said Durst (pictured with Kathleen Durst) shot Berman because of what she knew about the fate of his spouse, whom authorities have said they presume was slain by Durst
The case of the missing wife of real estate heir Robert Durst is being reopened by investigators
The trial is set scheduled to resume on Monday, according to the Los Angeles Superior Court.
Durst is the son of billionaire New York real estate mogul Seymour Durst, is charged with the December 2000 slaying of his best friend, Susan Berman, in her Los Angeles home.
The real estate heir was the subject of The Jinx, an HBO documentary that ends with Durst seemingly confessing to murder.
Durst has been in jail since 2015 on charges related to Berman’s death, with his trial in her murder resuming in mid May.
He had admitted to fatally shooting and dismembering his 71-year-old neighbor Morris Black in 2001, but he was acquitted of his murder in 2003 after claiming self defense.
But Lewis said the killing of Berman and Durst’s admission that he had killed Black are both tied to the mystery of Kathie Durst.
Her body has never been found and Robert has not been charged with her death, though authorities believe he is likely responsible, according to the New York Post.
‘Everything starts with Kathie Durst’s disappearance and death at the hands of Mr. Durst,’ Lewin said.