The Princeton graduate who stands accused of fatally shooting his Wall Street tycoon father over a dispute about his allowance has rejected a plea deal that could prevent him from spending the rest of his life in prison.
Thomas Gilbert Jr., 32, turned down a deal that would see him spend up to 25 years in prison in exchange for a guilty plea to first-degree manslaughter, the New York Post reported. He currently faces life in prison on one count of second-degree murder.
“Are you at all interested in the plea that the district attorney is offering?” asked Justice Melissa Jackson on Tuesday after a weeklong hearing into the case, which opened in 2015 after 70-year-old Thomas Gilbert Sr. was shot in the head inside his multimillion-dollar East Side apartment.
“Uhh, no, Your Honor,” Gilbert Jr. replied.
In a statement outside the courtroom, mother Shelley Gilbert claimed that her family was unable to procure proper mental health treatment for her son, who reportedly suffers from schizophrenia.
“The laws and procedures involving mental illness in the state of New York are medieval,” she said, noting that she hoped to have Gilbert Jr. involuntarily committed. “Had our family had access to the kind of care for Tommy he needed, this horror story would have never happened.”
Gilbert Jr. allegedly killed his father in January 2015 after his father allegedly cut his allowance by just $200 a month. He was receiving $2,400 per month for rent and $600 for spending money, but Gilbert Sr. decided to drop that figure to $400 for discretionary expenses.
Police determined that Gilbert Sr. was shot in the head with a .40-caliber Glock semi-automatic pistol that Gilbert Jr. owned. Upon searching his apartment, they also found two magazine clips and several loose rounds.
Throughout his trial, Gilbert Jr. has been found mentally fit despite making numerous bizarre statements, much to his mother’s chagrin. He once claimed that he was getting poisoned by radioactive waste while jailed at Rikers Island and asked the Iraqi consulate to be subpoenaed.