Astor’s son, 89, going to New York jail after losing mercy plea

Astor heir Anthony Marshall arrives for sentencing at the Supreme Court in New York, December 21, 2009. REUTERS/Finbarr O'Reilly
Astor heir Anthony Marshall arrives for sentencing at the Supreme Court in New York, December 21, 2009. REUTERS/Finbarr O’Reilly

The 89-year-old son of late New York socialite Brooke Astor on Monday lost a final plea that because of old age and illness he should avoid prison time for his conviction on charges he cheated his ailing mother before her death.

Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Kirke Bartley declined the defense request to throw out Anthony Marshall’s 1- to 3-year sentence, noting that a higher court, the state Supreme Court’s Appellate Division, already rejected Marshall’s argument that he should be spared prison because of his age and illness.

Marshall’s lawyer portrayed him as a frail man who would likely die if incarcerated. He was expected to report on Thursday to begin his prison term.

Marshall and his codefendant, Francis Morrissey, 72, a lawyer, were convicted in 2009 of grand larceny and other charges for keeping Marshall’s mother in squalid conditions in her final years and of taking advantage of his mother’s deteriorating mental state for financial gain. Morrissey was also due to start serving his 1- to 3-year sentence on Thursday.

The defense attempt to keep Marshall out of prison marked the latest development in a case that has shed a rare light on New York’s high society and a family closely associated with “old money.”

Astor was an heir of John Jacob Astor, who built a fortune on fur trade in the early 19th century. An active philanthropist, she was worth an estimated $200 million when she died in 2007 at age 105.

Last week, Marshall’s attorney asked Bartley to throw out Marshall’s 2009 conviction and grant a retrial after a juror recanted her guilty vote in a sworn statement. The judge was expected to decide Thursday whether to grant a new trial.

Marshall suffers from a heart condition and is bound to a wheelchair, defense lawyer Kenneth Warner told the court on Monday.

Marshall’s inability to walk or feed himself makes him too frail for incarceration, and he would likely die if sent to prison, Warner said.

“It would be a cruel and unusual punishment to be sentenced to jail at his age, in his condition,” Warner said. “The reality is that … he is a feeble and frail 89-year-old.”

Assistant District Attorney Elizabeth Loewy, chief of the Elder Abuse Unit, opposed the defense motion to keep Marshall out of jail.

“I feel compassion about Mr. Marshall’s age,” Loewy said. “But after he decided to steal thousands of dollars from Ms. Astor, after you commit such a crime, just because you’re elderly, you don’t throw your hands up and say, ‘Show me mercy; I’m elderly.”

 



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
News

Turkey: Voting begins in country's first direct presidential…

Some 53 million people are able to vote in the election, including 2.8 million citizens abroad. Until now, Turkish presidents were elected by parliament.

News

Libya seeks ceasefire as south Tripoli a militia…

By Patrick Markey and Aziz El YaakoubiTRIPOLI (Reuters) - Black plumes of smoke marked shell blasts and bulldozed earthen barricades mapped out the frontlines around…

Breaking: News

Russia mad about sanctions, says U.S. contributing to…

Russia reacted angrily on Saturday to additional sanctions imposed by the European Union over Moscow's role in the Ukraine crisis, saying they would hamper cooperation…

National

Mutant worms stay sober, even on alcohol

U.S. researchers have developed "mutant worms" that do not get drunk by alcohol, a breakthrough that could lead to new treatment for people trying to quit drinking

Television

'Game of Thrones' livens up Comic Con with…

By Piya Sinha-RoySAN DIEGO (Reuters) - Laughter and death did battle on Friday at HBO's "Game of Thrones" panel at Comic Con, one of the…

Movies

Review: Brett Ratner's big 'Hercules' movie is small…

The latest "Hercules," starring Dwayne Johnson as the half-god beefcake of Greek myth, strips its hero and tale of most of its fantastical elements.

Arts

Scientists recreate world's smallest Monet copy

Scientists have reproduced a famous Impressionist painting using nano-printing, to create what has been described as the world's smallest work of art. Reworked at the…

Television

Jerry Seinfeld is ambidextrous, and other Reddit AMA…

See some of the weirder highlights of Jerry Seinfeld's recent Reddit AMA.

U.S. Soccer

Orlando City takes shot at NYCFC over Frank…

Orlando City reminded the world how big a signing Brazilian star Kaka earlier this month with a photo of Kaka mobbed by fans juxtaposed against Lampard.

NBA

Jeremy Lin says 'Linsanity' is over as he…

Jeremy Lin lit up the NBA two years ago with his play for the Knicks but he has no desire to recreate "Linsanity" in his new career with the Lakers.

NFL

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player…

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player rankings

U.S. Soccer

NYCFC announce signing of Frank Lampard

The tease of a big signing Thursday by new MLS side NYCFC ended up being one rumored for weeks. England midfielder Frank Lampard agreed to…

Tech

Forget Wi-Fi: Li-Fi could be the future

Li-Fi technology – developed by Mexican company Sisoft – is wireless internet connectivity using specialized LED light.

Tech

Weather app Climendo might be the most accurate…

The wait for a truly accurate weather forecast could finally be over thanks to a nifty new app called Climendo.

Tech

Napkin Table puts focus off the phone and…

Michael Jan, a design student at Tunghai University in Taiwan, has invented a serviette-picnic blanket hybrid called the Napkin Table.

Style

Essie's new Color Boutique

Essie launches high-tech kiosks at major airports and malls across the country.