Astor's Son Falls in Courthouse, Jury Sent Home

Marshall's condition is not yet known

The son of Brooke Astor fell today and struck his head in the restroom of the State Supreme Court in Manhattan, where he is on trial for looting his mother's $198 million fortune. 

A court officer said the incident occurred during a break, around 11:30 a.m. Wednesday. An ambulance was called.

The judge dismissed the jury for the day at 12:45 p.m. He told them not to speculate on the reason.

Anthony Marshall's condition is not yet known.

Marshall, 85, is charged with grand larceny, fraud and other counts, and his codefendant, 66-year-old lawyer Francis Morrissey, is charged with forgery. Their trial is in its 10th week.

On Tuesday, the trial was postponed because Marshall was ill.  Attorney Kenneth Warner said his client went to see his doctor because "he's not well." He refused to give details but said Marshall was not hospitalized.

The white-haired octogenarian had heart surgery last fall. He takes blood thinners and walks unsteadily with a cane.

State Supreme Court Justice A. Kirke Bartley telephoned Marshall's doctor to check on why he was unable to come to court. He later told jurors the trial was postponed until Wednesday and instructed them not to speculate on the reason.

Astor died in 2007 at age 105.

On slate to testify today was Pearline Noble, who was an Astor nurse in January 2004 when the socialite signed the second amendment to her will that gave the bulk of her fortune over to her son.

Noble is a prosecution witness who is expected to testify that Astor, two months shy of her 102nd birthday at the time, did not know what she was doing.

Defense lawyers maintain that Astor was lucid and rational and knew exactly what she was doing at the time she signed each of the three amendments to her will.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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