A Manhattan, New York, jury took a little over two days to convict a Princeton University graduate for killing his hedge fund father, after the father threatened to reduce his allowances and not pay his rent.
Thomas Gilbert Jr. is facing 25 years to life in prison for shooting his father, Wainscott Capital Partners founder Thomas Gilbert Sr., in the head inside the family’s Beekman Place apartment on Jan. 4, 2015.
Prosecutors said that Gilbert Jr., 34, staged his 70-year-old father’s death as a suicide hours after the financier threatened to stop giving him an allowance between $300 and $1000 and paying rent for his studio apartment.
“He is not a child,” said Assistant District Attorney Craig Ortner during closing arguments in Manhattan Supreme Court on Wednesday. “This defendant didn’t want to grow up and be an adult. When his father tried to push him along in that direction and cut his allowance, he threw the ultimate tantrum.”
Prosecutors said Gilbert Jr. sent his mother out of the house on an errand to get a can of soda. Within 15 minutes, Gilbert Jr. was seen on surveillance video walking into and leaving the building with a hood covering his face.
According to Gilbert Jr.’s attorney, Arnold Levine, the then 30-year-old suffers from a slew of mental illnesses including Obsessive-compulsive disorder, but the jury did not buy the mental defect defense.
“It was the can of Coke,” said Kimmy Lee, 61, who served as juror No. 5. “At first I believed he wasn’t responsible because of his mental illness, but after reading through all the manuscripts it hit me: that one line about the Coke showed that he was conscious of his actions at the time.”
Gilbert Jr. appeared emotionless as the jury foreman declared him guilty of second-degree murder and two counts of criminal possession of a weapon.
“I think they got it wrong,” said Levine after the verdict on Friday. “Someone like Tommy does not belong in a state prison — he needs to belong in a psychiatric hospital.”
Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Melissa Jackson is expected to sentence Gilbert Jr. on Aug.9.
Prosecutors said there is no evidence Gilbert Jr. ever had a psychotic break when he fired the .40 caliber semi-automatic pistol — but rather is a “symbol of entitlement.”
In Aug., 2013, Wainscott Capital Partners had $5 million under management with investments in about 20 company names at a time, Hedge Fund Alert reported. By October 2014, the fund had grown to $7.3 million, Wainscott Capital reported to eVestment.