Robert Durst's lawyers say he has bladder cancer and ask to postpone trial indefinitely
Published Friday, May 14, 2021 1:49AM EDT
The legal team for Robert Durst, the subject of the HBO crime documentary "The Jinx," filed an emergency motion Thursday asking for his murder trial to not resume next week, citing a "myriad of life-threatening health issues" including bladder cancer that is not being treated.
"We are very concerned about his health," Durst's attorney Dick DeGuerin told CNN. "He's really gone down in the last year. He's been in and out of clinics and hospitals frequently."
Durst, heir to a New York real estate empire, was present at his most recent court hearing on March 17.
The defendant looked frail and wore a green medical mask over his face, one strap dangling below his chin. Durst spoke briefly in a high, thin voice, much weaker than when he was last heard in court.
Citing Durst's physical incompetence, Durst's attorneys in the latest motion requested a release on bail. The LA County Sheriff confirmed to CNN that Durst is still being held in the Twin Towers correctional facility in Los Angeles.
Durst's legal team said that he would be willing to abide by stringent conditions if released to a medical facility for treatment, including GPS monitoring, a high bail amount and paying for his own security.
The motion argues that the criminal trial is "grueling for a healthy individual, let alone a 78-year-old man with serious health conditions, including bladder cancer, prior esophageal cancer, malnutrition, coronary artery disease with drug-eluting stents, atrial fibrillation, and chronic kidney disease."
Durst is accused of shooting his close friend Susan Berman in the head at her Beverly Hills home on December 23, 2000, to allegedly stop her from incriminating him in the disappearance of his first wife, Kathleen McCormack.
Durst has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder and has denied that he killed Berman.
The trial was initially suspended in March 2020 after just a few days of witness testimony due to the coronavirus pandemic. It was originally scheduled to resume in July but was postponed again. The trial is slated to resume May 17.
The HBO documentary explored Durst's behavior and the circumstances regarding the women in his life. In the final moments of the series finale, Durst went into the bathroom, apparently not realizing his microphone was still on.
"There it is. You're caught," he said. He rambled a series of seemingly unrelated sentences before saying, "He was right. I was wrong."
Then, he muttered, "What the hell did I do? Killed them all, of course."
The defense has said it will show Durst's statements were heavily edited and not uttered in the order in which they appeared in the documentary.