Court: Brooke Astor's son can go to prison

March 27, 2013 at 3:31 PM
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NEW YORK, March 27 (UPI) -- A New York appeals court says philanthropist Brooke Astor's 88-year-old son should not be spared prison because of his age.

The state Supreme Court's Appellate Division panel in Manhattan also upheld most of Anthony Marshall's conviction for stealing from his mother's estate before her death in 2007, tossing one count of grand larceny, the New York Daily News reported. Marshall was sentenced to one to three years in prison after his conviction in 2009.

"We are not convinced that as an aged felon Marshall should be categorically immune from incarceration," the panel said Tuesday. "And it is generally inappropriate to use the interest of justice as a device for granting dispensations from mandatory sentencing statutes."

Astor was 105 at the time of her death. She inherited a large fortune from her third husband, Vincent Astor, when he died in 1959 and became known for her charitable work and social activities during her long widowhood.

Philip Marshall said he hopes his father is not incarcerated. He initiated the investigation by charging that his father was mistreating his grandmother and using her estate for his own ends.

"This said, I believe that by affirming all but one of his convictions the court sent a critical message that elder abuse and exploitation are a crime — and reprehensible," Philip said.

The appeals court also upheld the conviction of lawyer Francis Morrisey, who was tried with Marshall.

Marshall's lawyer said he is considering whether to appeal.

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