Is Robert Durst 'stalling' trial? Suspected serial killer hospitalized after 'health incident'
Robert Durst was admitted to a jail hospital following an 'incident' involving his health. The judge presiding over his murder trial revealed the news on June 10. Dismissing the jury for a long weekend, Judge Mark E Windham said, "Mr Durst is not here. We understand he is in the jail hospital because of some incident this morning involving his health."
Prosecutors have their doubts on whether the apparent health issue is simply a tactic to stall the proceedings. Previously, his attorneys had appealed to the judge to postpone the trial indefinitely due to his bladder cancer diagnosis. Durst who was arrested in 2015 for the murder of his best friend Susan Berman appeared throughout the trial in a wheelchair.
Deputy District Attorney John Lewin questioned the seriousness of Durst’s medical condition. He mentioned that Durst, 78 had previously said in jail that he planned to fake dementia to secure a mistrial. "So, I have no idea whether this is legitimate or not, but obviously, given his history, it is certainly suspect as to what his actual condition is, " Lewin said in court, according to Law and Crime. Lewin also mentioned two motions of mistrial filed by Durst's lawyers previously and added, "It’s very clear that the defence and the defendant want this trial to go away.”
Judge Windham, however, defied Lewin's scepticism and told the court, "He wouldn’t be taken to the hospital without a legitimate question as to health. The circumstances this morning were that he was down. He was not in his chair." Judge Windam then insisted he relies on the judgements of doctors and said, "I do trust the doctors at our jail to bring him if he is, in their judgment, whether he is able to come to court." He added, "I need to rely on them. So that’s all I mean. He’ll be brought to court if he’s good for court in the doctor’s opinion at the jail, and he will not be brought to court if he’s too ill for court. And I trust that judgment also.” Details about Rober Durst's health issues were not available at the moment.
Robert Durst was arrested in 2015 for the murder of his best friend Susan Berman in 2000. Berman was shot in the back of her head inside her in her Beverly Hills residence on Christmas eve. According to prosecutors, Durst killed Berman as he feared that she was going to tell New York authorities that he had killed his wife, Kathleen Durst in 1982. Kathleen Durst's body was never found, although she had been legally declared dead. Durst has never been charged in relation to his wife's disappearance and has repeatedly denied having anything to do with her demise. Berman, however, was killed just days before she was due to meet New York investigators who were probing Kathleen's disappearance.