By CBSLA Staff

INGLEWOOD (CBSLA) — Attorneys for New York real estate scion Robert Durst, currently on trial for murder, have filed an emergency motion for a mistrial, alleging that he has life-threatening health issues that are continuing to worsen.

Robert Durst sits as he appears in the courtroom on murder trial at the Inglewood Courthouse in Inglewood, California on May 18, 2021. (Photo by Al Seib/AFP via Getty Images)

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In court papers filed Wednesday, the defense said tha the 78-year-old, who has bladder and esophageal cancer, has “serious health issues which are currently afflicting him, and that he is physically incompetent to proceed with trial, including with testifying in his own defense.”

Durst’s attorneys claim Durst “is in an impossible situation in that he cannot physically testify in his own defense at trial, and if he attempted to, he risks suffering further damage to his health or death.”

They claimed in the filing that since Durst “cannot physically ensure testifying,” in court, “he risks a conviction by a jury who did not get to hear his side of the story. This would result in irreparable harm which warrants a mistrial.”

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The filing also includes a letter from the doctor, who said Durst has a “litany of chronic medical conditions, several are of such severity that his death in the next six months would not be surprising.”

Durst is on trial for the shooting death of Susan Berman, a 55-year-old write with whom he had been close friends for years after they met at UCLA, at her Benedict Canyon home in December 2000. The murder charge includes a special circumstance allegation that she was killed because she was a witness to a crime.

The defense team requested a Monday morning hearing on the filing when testimony in the case is set to resume.

Two previous requests due to Durst’s health, one for a mistrial and another for an infinite delay, have been denied within recent months.

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(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)