Robert Durst, the man who is suspected of killing his wife and two others has been transferred to a prison medical facility. He was moved from a maximum-security jail in Texas after he had surgery for an abdominal hernia. The inmate will now be treated at the same California medical center as fellow prisoners Charles Manson and Richard Ramirez.
Durst had surgery for an abdominal hernia on November 30th at the request of Texas prison officials. He was transferred to the Correctional Managed Health Care Facility in California after his medical condition deteriorated and he needed additional surgery, according to a statement from Susan Estelle, assistant director of institutional division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.
Since the 71-year-old inmate is a high profile prisoner, he was checked into a secure area of the California prison medical facility. Over half of California prisoners are housed in these facilities, where treatment costs have been rising rapidly. California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation estimates it spends $7.4 billion annually on health care expenses for inmates.
Durst has been in prison since being charged with murdering his neighbor, Morris Black, in 2001. He was acquitted of that charge but still sits in a California jail on gun and drug charges related to the case. In 2003 Durst was acquitted in the slaying of his friend Susan Berman, who was shot to death execution-style at her Beverly Hills house.
Jail health care is definitely not modeled after hospital health care, said David Fathi, director of the National Prison Project for the American Civil Liberties Union. The goal for any prison inmate is to get them back in the general population as soon as possible.
Texas officials say Durst underwent surgery at a state prison in South Texas in November to repair an abdominal hernia. He was declared unfit for travel on December 23rd, but his condition continued to deteriorate and he needed additional surgery. Corrections officials say Durst will return to a Texas prison at the earliest possible date.
Durst has been serving a seven-year federal sentence since pleading guilty in 2004 to being a felon in possession of a gun and is scheduled for release on July 18, 2014. The 71-year-old Durst has been linked to at least three killings over the past 30 years, including his wife Kathleen who disappeared in 1982, Susan Berman in 2000 and Morris Black whose body parts were found floating inside trash bags in Galveston Bay in 2001.
Robert Durst is a suspect in the death of his first wife, Kathleen McCormack, who disappeared in 1982. He was also tried and acquitted of murder for killing and dismembering neighbor Morris Black in 2001. In 2003, he was released from jail after a special prosecutor decided there wasn’t enough evidence to charge him in the killing of longtime friend Susan Berman.
Authorities arrested Durst on a murder warrant in the death of Black and charged him with first-degree murder on March 14, 2015, but he has not been accused of any crime in McCormack’s disappearance.