The People vs. Marshall and Morrissey: Brooke Astor Trial by the Numbers

The People vs. Marshall and Morrissey: Trial by the Numbers

The trial of Anthony Marshall and estate lawyer Francis Morrissey made headlines even before opening arguments began in April 2009. The two were accused of swindling New York socialite Brooke Astor out of hundreds of millions of dollars in her final years.

Not only is the story behind the case enthralling -- a supposedly greedy son, 85-year-old Marshall, plotted to get as much of his aging mother's money as possible while she was suffering from Alzheimer's -- but it took an inordinately long time for the case to be completed.

Over five months in court, an array of exciting, enthralling and just plain unforeseen events happened.

Pouring through the thousands of pages of court reporter's notes, here's a look at the numbers that tell the story of the marathon trial.

The Defendants:

 

Defendants: 2 (Anthony Marshall, Brooke Astor's only son, and lawyer Francis X. Morrissey Jr., Brooke Astor's lawyer)

Age of Mrs. Astor when she died: 105

Age of defendants combined: 151. Marshall is 85 and Morrissey is 66.

Counts in the indictment: 18 total (16 for Marshall. Six for Morrissey.)

Possible jail time: 1-25 years for Marshall who was found guilty among others things for grand larceny in the first degree. (Sentencing will be Dec. 8, 2009.)

The Verdict:

 

Counts found guilty: 14 for Marshal, 6 for Morrissey.

Counts found not guilty: 2 for Marshall, 0 for Morrissey.

Minutes for the jury foreman to read guilty or non-guilty for all 22 counts: 4

Amount of bail assistant district attorney asked for each defendant after the verdict: $ 5 million

Amount of bail the judge released each man on: $100,000.

Words uttered by Charlene Marshall when asked for a reaction while she left the court: 4; "I love my husband."

Days until sentencing: 61.

Trial For All Seasons:

 

Weeks the judge initially expected the trial to last: 8-10

Weeks the trial was in session: 21 (with 88 days in court)

Seasons the trial lasted: 3 (spring, summer, fall)

Days the trial was suspended to give the jurors a vacation: 10 days in August.

Days court was delayed or cancelled due to Marshall's health: 4
He suffered a "mini-stroke" on June 10 (canceled court); fell off of his treadmill on June 21 (extended lunch break on June 22 to visit his doctor); called in sick on July 7 (canceled court); and collapsed in the men's room of the courthouse on July 8 and was carried out of the building on a gurney.

Seat cushions brought to court each day by Charlene Marshall, the defendant's wife: 5

Number of sketches made by court sketch artist: 113

The Jury:

 

Days it took to choose the jury: 11

Potential jury pool interviewed by lawyers: 1,400

Days of deliberation to reach a verdict: 12

Original number of jurors: 19 (including 7 alternates)

Alternate jurors left when the trial concluded: 3

Jurors who decided guilt or innocence: 12 (8 women and 4 men)

Income for jurors who are not compensated by their employers: $40 a day for the first 30 days. $46 for each day thereafter. Over 88 days in court those jurors were paid $1,200 + $2,668 = $3,868

Federal minimum wage: ($7.25 an hour x 40 hour work week x 21 weeks) $6,090
(3 jurors were looking for work when the trial started and 3 were retired.)

Subway or bus fare to and from court (not compensated for): 38 days at $4 ($152) + 50 days at $4.50 ($225.00) = $377.

With the fare increase for subways and buses on July 1, the jurors, as well as the rest of New Yorkers, had to fork over an additional 50 cents for their round-trip commutes.

Juror's attacked while commuting from court: 1

On Aug. 7, 2009, the jury forewoman was attacked by a female wielding an 8-inch knife on a northbound No. 4 subway. The forewoman and fellow jurors had just left court for the day and boarded the No. 4 subway at City Hall when she was menaced. An alternate juror came to the forewoman's aid and grabbed the female suspect, holding her until cops came.

Days until jurors will have to serve jury duty again: 0. (The judge has excused any juror or alternate juror from ever having to serve on a jury again).

Lawyers:

 

Number of attorneys: 7. Three for the prosecution, three for defendant Marshall and one for Morrissey.

Witnesses:

 

Witnesses for the prosecution: 72

Witnesses for Morrissey's defense: 2

Witnesses for Marshall's defense: 0

Nobel Peace Prize winners who testified: 1. Henry Kissinger was the 56th Secretary of State of the United States and won the Nobel Peace prize in 1973. He was a friend of Brooke Astor.

Emmy Award winning journalists who testified: 1. ABC's Barbara Walters testified about Mrs. Astor's condition at her 100th birthday party.

Evidence:

 

Pages of court transcripts: Over 17,000 pages including opening, closing and all testimony. That's about two average sized trees (average tree produces 8,335 sheets). Cost to photocopy the transcript at Kinkos ($.08 a page) = $1,360

Court reporters alternating typing every single word said in court: 2

Wills Mrs. Astor had written: 32. (Mrs. Astor wrote her first will in 1953 at the age of 51.)

Codicils (amendments made to the final will): 3

Brooke Astor signatures introduced by the prosecution: 240

Signature authenticity questioned by the prosecution: 1

Exhibits entered into evidence by the Prosecution: Over 450

Amount of money Marshall would have inherited before the latest amendments to Mrs. Astor's Will: 7 percent of $25 million trust = $2 million a year, plus $5 million outright. (But if he died his wife Charlene would receive none of that.)

Amount the entire estate was valued at Mrs. Astor's passing: $170 - $185 million

(Marshall gained control of virtually all of the estate value after the amendments were made in 2003 and 2004)

Important Dates:

 

March 30, 2009: Jury selection begins.

April 27, 2009: Opening arguments begin.

Sept. 9, 2009: Testimony concludes.

Sept. 14, 2009: Closing arguments begin.

Sept. 22, 2009: The jury is charged with the case and begins deliberations.

Oct. 8, 2009:Verdict.

Dec. 8, 2009: Sentencing.

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