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‘He tried to kill me’: Former friend of rich ‘kid’ accused of killing father over allowance cut claims he repeatedly attacked him, burned down family home

A friend of the man on trial for his father’s murder said the defendant also tried to kill him on multiple occasions.

Testifying at Thomas Gilbert Jr.’s murder trial, Peter Smith Jr., 36, said that Gilbert had also attacked him numerous times and once tried to burn his parents’ Hamptons home down when he believed Smith was inside, the New York Post reports.

“He tried to kill me on several occasions,” Smith said on the witness stand.

As CrimeOnline previously reported, Thomas Gilbert, Jr. is accused of fatally shooting his father, Thomas Gilbert, Sr., in January 2015. The defendant, who was 30 at the time, is believed to have been angry at his father for reducing his allowance from $1,000 a week to $300 a week. His mother, Shelley Gilbert, reportedly said in court that she and her husband had cut their son’s allowance in an effort to get him to seek more intensive psychiatric case than had been receiving.

“I didn’t know he was this nuts,” Shelley Gilbert said of her son in a 911 call after finding her husband in their Upper East Side townhouse.

According to the New York Post report, Smith said in court that he had invited Gilbert to come stay with him in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, in 2011 after learning that Gilbert was living with his parents. But soon Gilbert became paranoid and began accusing Smith of meddling with his possessions, sometimes becoming physical.

“Eventually Tommy became very aggressive with me,” Smith reportedly testified. “He attacked me on several occasions.”

Smith said that he eventually kicked Gilbert out, but that Gilbert came back to the area and pounced on Smith, breaking his nose.

Smith also claimed that on another occasion, Gilbert “burnt down my family’s home because he thought I was in it.” As the New York Post reports, Gilbert was never charged with arson although he was a prime suspect in the case.

The defendant’s lawyer are reportedly trying for an insanity defense in his father’s murder case.