Elderly son of heiress Brooke Astor to plea for parole

Reuters News
Posted: Aug 19, 2013 4:28 PM
Elderly son of heiress Brooke Astor to plea for parole

By Francesca Trianni

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Brooke Astor's 89-year-old son, in prison for swindling his late philanthropist mother, is slated to appear before the New York State Parole Board this week to seek an early medical release, a Department of Corrections spokeswoman said on Monday.

Anthony Marshall, convicted in 2009 of grand larceny and other charges for taking advantage of his aging mother, suffers from Parkinson's disease and is unable to walk or feed himself, according to his lawyers.

He began serving his sentence on June 21.

A decorated veteran from the Second World War, Broadway producer and U.S. diplomat, he has been serving his one- to three-year sentence in a medical unit at Fishkill Correctional Facility, about 70 miles north of New York City.

To be eligible for medical parole, inmates must be "so physically or cognitively debilitated or incapacitated that there is a reasonable probability" that they no longer present any danger to society, according to the state Department of Corrections.

The department did not release a specific date for the parole hearing, but a decision on whether to grant Marshall medical parole will be made before this Friday, said spokeswoman Linda Foglia.

Marshall's lawyers did not respond to a request for comment.

Marshall was convicted of taking advantage of his mother's deteriorating mental state and stealing millions of dollars from her the years before she died at the age of 105 in 2007. The thrice-married Astor was a philanthropist for much of her life, heading the Vincent Astor Foundation for almost 40 years.

If Marshall is denied parole, his earliest potential release date would be June 2014, said Foglia. If he is granted parole, his release might take several weeks.

Since New York's compassionate release law took effect in 1992, 398 inmates have been granted medical parole, Foglia said.

Last year, 11 inmates received parole under the law, six with terminal illnesses and five with non-terminal illnesses, she said.

(Editing by Ellen Wulfhorst and Leslie Gevirtz)