Crime Robert Durst Has COVID and Is on a Ventilator Following Life in Prison Sentencing, Says Lawyer Robert Durst was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the 2000 execution-style killing of his best friend Susan Berman earlier this week By Nicholas Rice Nicholas Rice Instagram Twitter Nicholas Rice is an Associate Editor for PEOPLE Magazine. He began working with the brand as an Editorial Intern in early 2020, before later transitioning to a freelance role, and then staff positions soon after. Nicholas writes and edits anywhere between 7 to 9 stories per day on average for PEOPLE, spanning across each vertical the brand covers. Nicholas has previous work experience with Billboard, POPSUGAR, Bustle and Elite Daily. When not working, Nicholas can be found playing with his 5 dogs, listening to pop music or eating mozzarella sticks. People Editorial Guidelines Published on October 17, 2021 10:34 AM Share Tweet Pin Email Robert Durst is sentenced for the 2000 murder of Susan Berman. Photo: Myung J. Chun-Pool/Getty Robert Durst has been diagnosed with COVID-19 and is currently on a ventilator, according to his lawyer. On Saturday, Durst's lead defense attorney, Dick DeGuerin, told The Los Angeles Times that his client has been hospitalized and placed on the breathing aid machine. "We were notified he tested positive, so we're all very concerned," DeGuerin said in a statement to CNN. Without confirming when Durst's positive diagnosis was made, DeGuerin also noted that Durst, 78, "looked horrible at sentencing," adding, "I was really concerned even back then because he was having difficulties breathing, he was having difficulties speaking, worse than he's ever looked." Robert Durst Sentenced to Life in Prison for Murdering Susan Berman To Cover Up Wife's Disappearance DeGuerin did not provide any other details on Durst's condition, or where he currently is located. CNN added that the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department would not disclose information about Durst's health either, citing HIPAA laws. Durst's positive COVID-19 diagnosis comes the same week that he was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the 2000 execution-style killing of his best friend, Susan Berman. Last month, Durst was found guilty of first-degree murder, more than 20 years after Berman was found dead inside her Beverly Hills home. Prosecutors said Durst killed Berman, a writer whose father was a Las Vegas mob boss, because she knew too much about the disappearance of his first wife Kathleen, who was last seen alive on January 31, 1982. Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Click here to get breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases in the True Crime Newsletter. Prosecutors alleged Berman was not Durst's only victim, saying he killed both Kathleen and Morris Black, his then-neighbor in Galveston, Texas. Durst was acquitted of Black's murder when he claimed self-defense, saying Black pointed a gun at him and that Black was killed during a struggle for the weapon. The HBO documentary series The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst detailed the cases in 2015. Durst's trial, which began in March 2020, was postponed during the COVID-19 pandemic and resumed again in May 2021. There was a brief pause in the trial in June because of Durst's ongoing health issues. His lawyers asked the judge for a mistrial because of his medical condition but the judge denied the request.