What to Know
- The son accused of killing his hedge-fund founder father over a decrease in his allowance was sentenced to 30 years to life in prison Friday
- Thomas Gilbert Jr. fatally shot and killed Thomas Gilbert Sr. four years ago and then tried to stage it as a suicide
- Gilbert Jr. was found guilty of murder in the second degree as well as criminal possession of a weapon
The son accused of killing his hedge-fund founder father in the family's midtown apartment over a decrease in his allowance was sentenced to 30 years to life in prison Friday.
Thomas Gilbert Jr. fatally shot and killed Thomas Gilbert Sr. nearly five years ago and then tried to make it appear as if his 70-year-old father killed himself. Shelley Gilbert, the victim's wife and killer's mother, found the senior Gilbert's body in their Manhattan apartment and called 911.
Gilbert Jr., 34, was found guilty earlier this year of murder in the second degree as well as criminal possession of a weapon. He was found not guilty on a lesser charge of criminal possession of forgery devices.
Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance called the shooting an "unconscionable and brutal crime."
"The defendant has finally been held accountable and he will serve a life sentence for this unconscionable crime," said Vance. "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.”
Shelley Gilbert previously testified in her son's trial, saying said Gilbert's allowance was lowered in order to force him to get psychiatric help. She described the trial as painful and exhausting.
"No family should ever have to go through this, ever," Shelley Gilbert said in late May.
Prosecutors said Gilbert Jr. used his monthly allowance on travel, memberships at elite sports clubs and other personal expenses. In 2014, he went to Ohio to illegally purchase a .40-caliber handgun — which was later used to kill his father at close range — after his parents encouraged him to be more self-sufficient and began reducing his allowance.
Gilbert Jr.'s lawyer maintained the Princeton University graduate had a history of delusions and psychotic symptoms going back at least a decade. His mother testified that her son had been diagnosed with a string of mental illnesses, including depression and paranoia.
On January 4, 2015, Gilbert Jr. went to his parent's Beekman Place apartment and fatally shot his father. He then placed the gun in his father's hand, and fled the apartment before his mother stumbled on the scene. In a recording of the 911 call, the dispatcher is heard asking Shelley Gilbert who shot her husband.
"My son, who is nuts. But I didn't know he was this nuts," she said.
The same day, police searched Gilbert Jr.'s Chelsea apartment and found loose .40-caliber ammunition and two empty shell casings that forensically matched the firearm left at the scene, along with two magazines with bullets loaded inside and other gun paraphernalia.
Prosecutors in the trial also described how Gilbert Jr. planned the killing by visiting the websites Hireakiller.com and hitman.com on his iPhone.
Gilbert Sr., a graduate of Harvard Business School, worked on Wall Street for 40 years and founded Wainscott Capital Partners Fund in 2011.