“We were notified he tested positive, so we’re all very concerned,” Dick DeGuerin, Durst’s lead defense attorney, said in a phone call, but he could not confirm when the diagnosis was made.
In an earlier statement to the Los Angeles Times, DeGuerin confirmed Durst had been hospitalized and placed on a ventilator.
Durst, 78, who has bladder cancer and other physical ailments, was convicted by a jury September 17 of shooting his best friend Susan Berman in 2000 at her Beverly Hills home, hours before she was set to talk to investigators about the mysterious disappearance of his first wife, Kathleen McCormack Durst, who was last seen in 1982.
McCormack Durst was declared legally dead in 2017. Her body has not been found and no one has been charged in the case.
The eccentric heir to a New York real estate empire, Durst took the stand in his months-long trial and denied killing McCormack Durst and Berman. He said he found Berman on the floor of her bedroom with a fatal gunshot to the back of the head.
But under cross-examination, he testified he would perjure himself if he had killed them. Prosecutors’ questions also prompted Durst to admit he perjured himself five times during the trial.
He was sentenced in a Los Angeles courtroom Thursday. The judge denied a motion from the defense team for a new trial, and the defense said they would appeal the decision.
Durst’s health has deteriorated significantly over the past few years. He has undergone multiple surgeries, including the insertion of a shunt in his head to relieve pressure on his brain.
He was in coronavirus quarantine in jail at the time the jury announced the guilty verdicts, his attorney previously said.
Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated when Durst was sentenced. He was sentenced Thursday.