Judge: Man unfit for trial in hedge-fund founder dad's death

AP News
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Posted: Sep 11, 2015 12:55 AM
Judge: Man unfit for trial in hedge-fund founder dad's death

NEW YORK (AP) — A man suspected of killing his hedge-fund founder father over an argument about his allowance is not mentally fit to stand trial and may be sent to a psychiatric facility as early as next week, a judge ruled Thursday.

Tommy Gilbert, 30, is accused of shooting his father in January and then trying to make it appear as if the older man had killed himself after being threatened with a cut of a few hundred dollars in his monthly allowance.

Authorities say Gilbert went to his parents' tony home on Beekman Place in Manhattan and asked to be alone with his father, Thomas Gilbert Sr. Police have said that when his mother returned home about 15 minutes later, she found her 70-year-old husband's lifeless body with a bullet wound in his head and his hand over a gun that was resting on his chest.

Gilbert, a 2009 graduate of Princeton University, was arrested shortly after the Jan. 4 shooting. He pleaded not guilty in February to murder and other charges.

His attorney, Alex Spiro, asked Manhattan Criminal Court Judge Melissa Jackson last month for his client to undergo a mental health examination. She ruled Thursday that he is not mentally fit for trial. Under state law, a judge could make that determination if a person lacks the capacity to understand the proceedings against him or her or assist in his or her own defense.

Gilbert, who Spiro says has a "long history of psychiatric issues," will be sent to a psychiatric facility next Thursday unless prosecutors ask for a hearing. A spokeswoman for the Manhattan district attorney's office did not immediately respond Thursday evening to a request for comment from The Associated Press.

"I hope Mr. Gilbert will get the treatment he needs," Spiro said.

Authorities have said Gilbert is also facing a criminal contempt case accusing him of harassing a friend in the Hamptons, and Southampton Town police questioned Gilbert about a suspicious fire that burned downed the friend's father's mansion. No arrests have been made in the arson probe.

The elder Gilbert, also a Princeton alumnus, worked on Wall Street for more than 40 years, according to a bio on the website of his firm, Wainscott Capital Partners Fund. Founded in 2011, it concentrates on health care and biotech companies.

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Associated Press writer Colleen Long contributed to this report.