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Will Durst’s Poor Health Cause a Mistrial? Jeff Wolf Weighs in on Law & Crime

Since May, Robert Durst’s defense team has argued that their client’s deteriorating health was so extreme that he could not be prosecuted. Durst has both bladder and esophageal cancer and has sat in a wheelchair throughout court proceedings.

On more than one occasion, Durst’s health has resulted in delays, prompting motions for a mistrial by the defense. Is Durst too sick to testify in his own defense? Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Mark Windham thinks Durst is just fine.

Nevertheless, questions about Durst’s mental and physical faculties have come into question. In a recent interview with Angenette Levy on the Law & Crime Trial Network, Denver defense attorney Jeffrey Wolf discussed the rigorous nature of testifying in court.

“I think that there’s a big difference between being able to assist in your own defense…and being able to physically handle the rigors of testifying,” explained Wolf.

“Because when he gets up there, he’s going to get up there first with his lawyer, and they’re going to question him…but what they don’t get to control is what Lewin does on cross-examination,” Wolf continued. “He’s going to be sitting there playing mental tennis with a worthy adversary who is hell bent on hanging him from the highest tree. The stress that that’s going to cause on his cardiovascular system…is astounding. His ability to stand up for moments at a time, to pipe up with a sentence here or there, does not mean he’s going to be able to physically handle one, two, three, who knows how many hours of cross-examination.”

Watch the full video for extended commentary from Jeff Wolf or for more details about the Robert Durst murder trial.