Durst
In this file photo taken on October 14, 2021 Robert Durst is seen in the Airport Courthouse in Los Angeles as he is sentenced to life without possibility of parole for the killing of Susan Berman. Image Credit: AFP

Washington: US real estate mogul Robert Durst, sentenced to life in prison for killing his best friend, has been placed on a ventilator after becoming infected with COVID-19, according to a US media report.

Durst, 78, was given a life sentence this week with no possibility of parole after a jury found him guilty of killing his friend in 2000 at her Beverly Hills home to keep her from talking to police about the disappearance of his wife two decades earlier.

Durst's attorney Dick DeGuerin told the Los Angeles Times his client was in "very bad condition" during the sentencing hearing.

Durst has been hospitalized and put on a ventilator after catching the coronavirus, said DeGuerin.

"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, a multi-millionaire who was the subject of an explosive HBO documentary entitled "The Jinx," has always denied the charges against him.

But he muttered to himself "Killed them all, of course" while the microphone remained switched on during a break in the recording of the final episode of the film.