Robert Durst appears in court for his sentencing at the Inglewood Courthouse in Inglewood, California, USA, 14 October 2021. Durst was sentenced to life without possibility of parole for the killing of Susan Berman. His lawyer now says he's contracted COVID-19 and is on a ventilator. Photo by Myung J. Chun/UPI
Oct. 16 (UPI) -- Robert Durst, a real estate heir who was sentenced to life in prison this week for murder, is on a ventilator after contracting COVID-19.
Dick DeGuerin, a lawyer for Durst, confirmed to Durst's dire health situation to The Los Angeles Times. He described Durst, 78, as being in "very bad condition" during the sentencing hearing on Thursday.
"He was having difficulty breathing and he was having difficulty communicating," DeGuerin told The Times. "He looked worse than I've ever seen him and I was very worried about him."
Durst was sentenced to life without parole on Thursday for the 2000 murder of his best friend, Susan, Berman. The sentence came a month after a jury found Durst guilty of first-degree murder.
The case drew national interest after he became the subject of a 2015 HBO documentary series, The Jinx. The series examined how Durst was acquitted for the murder of his neighbor, Morris Black, citing self-defense. It also looked into the disappearance of Durst's first wife, Kathie McCormack.
Prosecutors alleged Durst killed Berman to stop her from talking to New York police about the disappearance of McCormack, who was last seen in 1982.
The Times reports that Durst struggled with poor health throughout the trial and has been held in a wing of USC Medical Center under the watch of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.