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Man Allegedly Killed Dad Who Cut Weekly Allowance to $300

Lawyers for Thomas Gilbert Jr. say he's mentally ill
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 19, 2019 10:30 AM CDT
Updated Jun 23, 2019 10:24 AM CDT

(Newser) – Thomas Gilbert Jr. has lived a privileged life. The son of a millionaire hedge-fund founder, he grew up among the rich and well-connected in Manhattan before graduating from Princeton with an economics degree. But rather than follow in dad's footsteps, he lived on a $1,000 weekly allowance from his parents, surfing and frequenting yacht clubs while seemingly ignoring requests to find work, reports the New York Times. What happened when his father pulled the safety net, reducing Gilbert's allowance to $300 a week, has been the subject of a three-week murder trial in Manhattan following the 2015 shooting death of Thomas Gilbert Sr. The latest:

  • Gilbert's internet search history from October 2014—including terms "hit man forum," "murder for hire," "contract killing," and "Hire-a-killer.com"—was presented to the jury Monday, per the New York Post.
  • Months after those searches, 34-year-old Gilbert is accused of shooting his 70-year-old father in the head after arriving at his parents' East Side apartment on Jan. 4, 2015 and asking his mother to go out and get him a sandwich, per the Post.

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  • "It was obvious he'd done it"—but in the midst of a psychotic break, mother Shelley Gilbert previously told the Post. "He doesn't belong in jail, he belongs in a hospital," she continued. "It's what my husband would have wanted for him."
  • Though Justice Melissa Jackson found Gilbert was mentally competent to stand trial, a psychiatrist testified that Gilbert has long been treated for severe compulsive disorder, depressive disorder, paranoid disorder, and psychosis. He said Gilbert held the belief "that Saturday Night Live for years had been making fun of him."
  • But prosecutors say Gilbert, who's charged with second-degree murder, was in his right mind at the time of the killing, after which he staged the scene to look like a suicide, placing the .40-caliber Glock in his father's left hand, per the Post. He allegedly acquired the gun in Ohio after finding it listed on Facebook, per the Times.
  • Two ex-girlfriends and an uncle have testified that Gilbert was awkward, but free from signs of severe mental illness as he sought an easy life. One ex described him as "upset" and "scared" to be cut off financially.
  • In emails to his parents, shown to the jury Monday, Gilbert asked for money to pay for clothes, gym memberships, and tickets to charity events. But he balked at emails sent his way. "Again, I requested no emails. Please stop, so I don't have to change my email address. This is a form of harassment," he once wrote to his father, who reportedly covered his son's $2,400 monthly rent.
(Read more murder stories.)

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