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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.

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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.

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

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.

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