Princeton grad who killed his father after his allowance was cut gets 30 years to life
Thomas Gilbert Jr., who was convicted of killing his father after the older man cut back his weekly allowance, was sentenced Friday to 30 years to life in prison.
Thomas Gilbert Sr., a founding managing partner of the hedge fund Wainscott Capital, was found dead in his apartment in January 2015 with a gunshot wound to the head.
Gilbert’s attorneys did not dispute that he killed his father but said he was not guilty by reason of insanity. Jurors in June dismissed the insanity defense and convicted him of second-degree murder. They also found him guilty on two counts of criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree. He was found not guilty of criminal possession of forgery devices.
Shelley Gilbert, the victim’s wife, gave a victim impact statement Friday where she said the family wanted Gilbert Jr. “to be given as light a sentence as possible.”
“As I’ve said many times in court, we’ve been trying to get Tommy into a hospital for 15 years,” Shelley Gilbert said. “He’s too sick to be able to judge. He needs to be in a hospital, had he been so my husband would still be alive.”
She told the court she definitely plans to appeal the sentencing.
Gilbert Jr., 35, played football at Princeton and graduated with a degree in economics. At the time of the shooting, he was 30 and unemployed, receiving up to $1,000 a week from his parents.
Hours before Thomas Sr. was killed, he cut his son’s weekly allowance to $300, prosecutors said.
“We will appeal, but cannot appeal until after he is sentenced,” defense attorney Arnold Levine told CNN at the time.
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. had said that the elder Gilbert was killed “in spite of all his love and generosity.”
In a new statement Friday, the prosecutor said: “While nothing can undo the tragedy of Mr. Gilbert’s death, I hope that the resolution of this case helps his loved ones as they continue to heal from this devastating loss.”
Once part of Manhattan’s social elite, the younger Gilbert lived off his parents, prosecutors say, spending his time surfing in the Hamptons. He declined to appear in person for much of his five-week trial.
Emails between Gilbert and his parents that were shown in court depicted a tumultuous relationship. He repeatedly asked for money, sometimes “for a charity thing,” sometimes forwarding past-due bills from an exclusive athletic and social club for thousands of dollars to his mother.
In October 2014, prosecutors said, Gilbert’s computer showed searches for websites that discussed forging checks and offered blank check templates. Some of the charges he faces stem from credit card forging devices found at his home at the time of his arrest, prosecutors say.
Levine argued that Gilbert “deteriorated” around the time he began to attend Princeton.
“Nobody wanted to look at him — that background, those looks, that schooling — and say he could be mentally ill,” Levine said. “Nobody wanted to think it.”
By Brian Vitagliano, CNN