The lawyer representing Manhattan real estate heir and accused murderer Robert Durst says several unspecified “medical complications” have delayed his client’s impending extradition to California, where he has been charged with the 2000 execution-style shooting death of his longtime friend and spokeswoman Susan Berman.
Prominent Texas attorney Dick DeGuerin tells PEOPLE that Durst could be transferred “any day now” from the Louisiana prison that has held him for over a year to Los Angeles, where he will face prosecution. But DeGuerin is still awaiting word on when his client’s extradition will occur.
Late last year, the 73-year-old former fugitive agreed to be extradited by August 18. However, Durst’s mysterious medical issues keep delaying his eventual trip out west, according to DeGuerin.
The lawyer tells PEOPLE Durst has endured “serious surgery” that has ultimately “delayed action by the Bureau of Prisons” to initiate his extradition. DeGuerin did not provide more specifics on Durst’s condition.
“He’s recovering from the surgery very nicely,” DeGuerin says. “Of course, he’s had other serious medical problems, and he’s 73-years-old. That said, he’s eager to get to California and prove he didn’t kill Susan Berman.”
DeGuerin says he expects the state will begin trying his client in court in late 2017.
New Orleans police arrested Durst in Berman’s death on March 14, 2015 – a day before the airing of the last episode in HBO’s six-part documentary series The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst, which focused on the 1982 disappearance of his first wife, Kathleen, as well as Berman’s death.
In the finale, Durst is confronted by filmmaker Andrew Jarecki, and presented with a 1999 letter Durst had written to Berman.
The missive’s handwriting appears to match an anonymous letter mailed to Beverly Hills Police, alerting them to a “cadaver” at Berman’s residence.
During that last episode, Durst appeared to mutter to himself that he’d “killed them all, of course.” He was allegedly unaware the filmmaker’s microphones were still recording at the time.
Durst denies any involvement in Berman’s death or his first wife’s vanishing.
In a 2015 interview with PEOPLE, DeGuerin said the show’s creators “were out to get [Durst] from the very get-go” and that Durst was “tricked into thinking he would get a fair opportunity to explain himself after being under unfair suspicion for almost all of his adult life in the disappearance of his wife.”
DeGuerin added, “Now, he’s unfairly suspected of killing Ms. Berman because of this entertainment program being creatively edited to make it look like he was either confessing or that there is new evidence when there is not. He is eager to finally get have his say in court, at his trial, in front of a jury and not with somebody who was only out to get an Emmy.”