INGLEWOOD (CBSLA) - In an emergency motion, attorneys for Robert Durst, the 78-year-old real estate scion accused of the December 2000 murder of his longtime friend Susan Berman, asked the judge on Thursday to indefinitely postpone the trial.
Durst's trial began in March 2020, but after opening statements and just two days of testimony, it was put on hold because of COVID-19 concerns. Jurors are scheduled to reconvene Monday after more than a year long delay due to the pandemic.
In their filing, Durst's attorneys said their client is suffering from bladder cancer, chronic kidney disease and malnutrition among other conditions.
"Here, if Mr. Durst is forced to undergo the rigors of trial (and trial preparation), he faces serious risks to his health, and possibly to his life," the defendants attorneys wrote.
In September 2001, Durst was acquitted of murder in Texas after confessing that he killed Morris Black, his neighbor, in self-defense and then dismembered him. LA County prosecutors, who launched a new investigation into the unsolved 1982 disappearance of Durst's wife, Kathie Durst, allege he was in Galveston, Texas, posing as a mute woman to hide from detectives.
Durst's attorneys are requesting he be released to a secure medical facility with a high bail amount, ensuring that he is not a flight risk or a danger to the community. They also said that Durst would "pay for and provide his own security."
It was unclear whether prosecutors will respond to the defense's motion or wait until Monday morning when jurors are set to return for a one-to-two day orientation.
Durst has been in jail since March 145, 2015, after being taken into custody in New Orleans. His arrest came just hours before HBO aired the final episode of a six-part documentary exploring the disappearance of Kathie Durst and the deaths of Berman and Black.
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