After more than nineteen weeks of trial, including testimony by the likes of Henry Kissinger, Barbara Walters and Kofi Annan, Brooke Astor’s son was found guilty today for stealing from his ailing mother.
NYT: [Anthony D.] Marshall was found guilty of one of two first-degree grand larceny charges, the most serious he faced. Jurors convicted him of giving himself an unauthorised raise of about $1 million for managing his mother’s finances. Prosecutors contended throughout the trial that Mrs. Astor’s Alzheimer’s had advanced so far that there was no way she could have consented to this raise and other financial decisions that benefited Mr. Marshall.
The defence sought to undercut the prosecution’s case by showing that Mrs. Astor had lucid moments, despite her Alzheimer’s. Frederick P. Hafetz, one of Mr. Marshall’s lawyers, cited the time she said, “Rich people are no different from poor people, they always want more,” after making a change to her will in 2004 that gave her son greater control of her estate.
Although Mr. Marshall and Mrs. Astor may have had an awkward relationship, the defence contended that she realised late in her life how much she loved her son, and that was why she gave him so much.
The prosecution, however, portrayed Mr. Marshall as greedy, saying that he was driven to squeeze his mother for money at the urging of his wife, Charlene.
In his closing statement, Joel J. Seidemann, an assistant district attorney, read from the Book of Psalms: “Do not cast me away when I am old. Do not forsake me when my strength is gone.”
Read the entire story here.
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