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Socialite Astor's swindler son may get medical parole from jail

Anthony Marshall arrives to New York Criminal Court, June 21, 2013. REUTERS/Eric Thayer
Anthony Marshall arrives to New York Criminal Court, June 21, 2013. REUTERS/Eric Thayer

By Francesca Trianni

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The elderly son of Brooke Astor, who is one month into a prison sentence for swindling his late philanthropist mother, has been granted an interview for possible medical parole, a Department of Corrections spokesman said on Tuesday.

Anthony Marshall, 89, began serving a one- to three-year sentence on June 21 for stealing millions of dollars from his socialite mother, who suffered from Alzheimer's disease. He will appear before the parole board on August 19, said Tom Mailey, a spokesman for the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision.

Marshall, a decorated World War Two veteran who was a Broadway producer and U.S. diplomat, has been serving his sentence at the Fishkill Correctional Facility, a prison nursing home some 70 miles north of New York City.

Marshall was in a wheelchair when he turned himself in to authorities in June. In a final attempt to keep him out of prison at the time, his lawyer said that his inability to walk or feed himself made him too frail for incarceration.

"It would be a cruel and unusual punishment to be sentenced to jail at his age, in his condition," Marshall's lawyer, Kenneth Warner, told a judge in Manhattan federal court. "The reality is that ... he is a feeble and frail 89-year-old."

Marshall was convicted in 2009 of grand larceny and other charges for keeping his socialite mother in squalid conditions in her final years and for taking advantage of her deteriorating mental state for his own financial gain.

A spokeswoman for the Manhattan district attorney's office, who prosecuted Marshall for looting Astor's fortune, declined to comment on the parole board's agreement to interview Marshall.

Marshall's attorney did not immediately return a call seeking a comment.

(Reporting by Francesca Trianni; Editing by Barbara Goldberg and Maureen Bavdek)

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