Astor's nurses to testify against son

April 28, 2009 at 12:21 PM

NEW YORK, April 28 (UPI) -- The late philanthropist Brooke Astor's son strong-armed her into giving him control of $60 million of her money, prosecutors alleged in a New York court.

Between 2000 and 2005, servants and health aides allegedly watched Astor's only child, Anthony Marshall, prey on her failing mind for his own financial gain, prosecutors said Monday in opening arguments at Marshall's larceny trial.

In 2004, when Astor was 101, Marshall and his co-defendant Francis Morrissey, a lawyer, convinced Astor to sign over control of much her estate, said Elizabeth Loewy, an assistant district attorney. A nurse, Pearline Noble, is to testify Astor asked her, "Who are those men? What did I just do," Loewy said.

Marshall, 84, who has maintained his innocence, faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted, The New York Post reported Tuesday, saying prosecution witnesses could include Henry Kissinger, Barbara Walters and Annette de la Renta.

Astor, the widow of Vincent Astor, died in August 2007 at the age of 105.

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