Son 'Manhandled Astor to Change Will': Prosecutor
Anthony Marshall exploited mom's dementia to funnel fortune to him, says prosecutor.
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Apr 28, 2009 5:13 AM CDT
A photo of the late society scion Brook Astor appears on the cover of the book "Mrs. Astor Regrets" about Astor's ailing last years, and her son's alleged complicity in unraveling her world.   (AP Photo/Hougton Mifflin Harcourt)
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(Newser) – Brooke Astor's son "dragged" his frail mom from her nurse's arms to a closed-door meeting about her will, which was immediately changed in his favor, according to the prosecutor at the heir's  fraud and grand larceny trial yesterday in New York. Anthony Marshall exploited his vulnerable mother's dementia to manipulate her into leaving a larger chunk of her $198 million fortune to him rather than charities, as she originally intended, the attorney added.

Marshall faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted of the 16 charges against him, reports the Telegraph. He claims his mother knew what she was doing when she altered her will to benefit him. A host of famous witnesses, from Henry Kissinger to Barbara Walters, are expected to testify in the prosecution's case that the one-time society queen of New York was held virtual prisoner by her son.