Unswayed by an emotional plea for lenience from Thomas Gilbert Jr’s mother, Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Melissa Jackson on Friday sentenced the Princeton graduate to 30 years to life in prison for killing his millionaire hedge-fund manager father after his parents cut his monthly allowance by $100.
Shelley Gilbert asked the court to sentence her son to a psychiatric facility instead of prison, the New York Post reported.
“We were once a very happy family, and want to be happy again,” she said. “In order for this to happen, we need Tommy to be given as light a sentence as possible. I know if my husband was speaking from heaven, he would be saying the same thing as well.”
A jury convicted the younger Gilbert of second degree murder and weapons charges in June, as CrimeOnline reported. Several jurors said they were unpersuaded by the defense’s insanity plea because Gilbert arrived unannounced at his parents’ house on January 4, 2015, and immediately sent his mother out for a Coke and a sandwich, knowing she did not keep the soft drink in the house. While she was gone, he put a .40-caliber semiautomatic pistol to Thomas Gilbert Sr’s head and pulled the trigger.
Shelley Gilbert returned to the apartment to find her son gone and her husband lying in a pool of blood. Shelley Gilbert reluctantly testified against her son, after she was subpoenaed.
The prosecution argued — and jurors agreed — that Gilbert Jr likely did suffer from a mental illness but was completely in command of his senses when he shot his father to death.
The New York Post reported that the elder Gilbert had been gradually cutting his son’s allowance, trying to push him into more self-sufficiency. He had made the last of several pre-announced cuts to the son’s monthly allowance — from $400 to $300 — the morning of the murder.
Gilbert Sr, 70 at the time of his death, was the founder of Wainscott Capital Partners.
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[Featured image: Thomas Gilbert Jr, Southampton Police]