Nation

Astor heir awaits hearing on appeal in New York

Anthony Marshall has been free on bail.
Anthony Marshall has been free on bail.

NEW YORK — An 89-year-old heir to a famous New York City fortune is set to find out Thursday whether his 11th-hour attempt to avoid, or at least postpone, prison after being convicted of plundering his mother’s fortune will succeed.

Although Anthony Marshall has lost a series of appeals, a judge agreed Monday to spend a few days deciding whether to schedule a hearing on Marshall’s latest request for a new trial in a case that peered into New York society’s top drawer.

Marshall’s mother, Brooke Astor, was a philanthropist seen as the queen of the city’s social elite. He and another man were convicted in 2009 of sapping her fortune after she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.

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Both Marshall and his codefendant, former estate lawyer Francis Morrissey Jr., 72, have been free on bail while appealing their convictions.

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Defense lawyers say there’s a new impetus for revisiting the verdict: a sworn statement from a juror who has said for several years that she was strong-armed into a guilty verdict.

Marshall’s lawyers and doctor also said his health is failing dramatically.