The New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision has recommended medical parole for Anthony Marshall, the 89-year-old son of Brooke Astor who is serving a one- to three-year prison sentence for stealing millions of dollars from his mother's estate.
The state parole board will hold a hearing on whether to grant Marshall medical parole during the week of Aug. 19, according to DOC spokesman Thomas Mailey. The parole board's decision will be final, with no further involvement by the judge who presided over Marshall's case, Manhattan Supreme Court Justice A. Kirk Bartley.
Anthony Marshall arriving at Manhattan Supreme Court on June 21 accompanied by attorney Kenneth Warner, Marshall's wife Charlene and attorney Mark Zauderer. (NYLJ/Rick Kopstein)
Marshall, who is incarcerated at the Fishkill Correctional Facility in Dutchess County, suffers from numerous medical problems. According to a letter written by his physician, Kenneth Franklin, to prison staff on June 25, Marshall can't walk unaided because of his Parkinson's disease, can't clean himself unaided, requires oxygen because of his congestive heart failure, suffers from confusion and memory loss and is largely bedridden.
Marshall is the oldest person ever incarcerated for a non-violent crime in New York.
New York Executive Law §259 allows early parole if an inmate is terminally ill or is "so physically or cognitively debilitated or incapacitated as to create a reasonable probability that he or she does not present any danger to society."
People convicted of first-degree murder, or conspiring to commit first-degree murder, are not eligible for medical parole.
Under the Executive Law, the commissioner of the department of corrections can order an inquiry into whether an inmate should receive medical parole. The inmate is then examined by DOC doctors, who decide whether to recommend medical parole to the parole board.
After examining Marshall, the department's doctors recommended that he be granted medical parole. The statute requires that the prosecutor—in Marshall's case, the Manhattan District Attorney's office—and the sentencing judge be given 30 days' notice to respond to the recommendation.
The DOC initially notified the district attorney's office of its recommendation in July. The department first recommended parole pursuant to Executive Law §259-r, which pertains to terminally ill inmates. On July 18, the DOC sent out another notice saying that the first notice was in error, and that it was actually recommending parole pursuant to §259-s, which pertains to inmates so incapacitated that they pose no danger.
The mistake and subsequent correction meant that the 30-day notice period began again, pushing Marshall's parole hearing to the week of Aug. 19.
A spokeswoman for District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. declined to comment on the recommendation, saying that the office would have a formal response within the 30-day period.
"The standard for medical parole under 259-s perfectly describes Mr. Marshall's condition," said Marshall's attorney, Kenneth Warner. "We hope that it will be granted as soon as possible."
Marshall began serving his sentence on June 21, after multiple failed attempts to overturn the three and a half-year-old verdict.
Unless consideration is given to his medical condition, Marshall would not be eligible for release until June 20, 2014.
Marshall held his mother's power of attorney from 1978 until her death at age 105 in 2007.
Prosecutors charged that after Astor was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in 2000 and began to suffer worsening dementia, Marshall took advantage of his position to increase his pay as administrator of Astor's estate and to give himself generous cash gifts.
Marshall was convicted of 14 counts following a jury trial in December 2009, including a count of first-degree grand larceny, which carries a mandatory prison sentence.
Francis Morrissey, a former attorney for the Astor estate, was tried alongside Marshall and was convicted of committing forgery to help Marshall. He was also sentenced to one to three years in prison.
@|Brendan Pierson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.