Crime Waves: Astor Avenged, Monserrate Absent

rsz 86266248 Crime Waves: Astor Avenged, Monserrate AbsentThis morning, heirs on heirs: A.G. Sulzberger wrote one of the Times‘ articles on yesterday’s guilty verdict in the Astor trial (“Despite Verdict, Fate of Astor Fortune is Uncertain“).

Another Times article explains how the jurors struggled to relate to the rich, powerful characters of the Astor saga:

Jurors said they had tried to see through the wealth and glamour of the characters in the unfolding drama. And although the amounts of money were at times astounding to ponder, they infused their deliberations with experiences from their own lives.

Ms. Fernandez, 52, who said her grandfather had suffered from dementia for years, said Mr. Marshall and his wife, Charlene, who was not charged, were no different from common criminals. “It sort of reminded me, when I was in Brooklyn years ago and there was a blackout, and the lower-income people were stealing refrigerators and TVs, and they felt that was due to them,” Ms. Fernandez said after the verdict.

Presumably Sulzberger would have come up with a different analogy.

But despite their personal unfamiliarity with Astor-type lifestyles, the jurors were resourceful. From the Times: “One juror, Philip Bump, a freelance consultant for labor unions, was good at math, and helped the panel sort out” the significance of Anthony Marshall’s shenanigans.

Yes, the Daily News explains, “it was ‘little people,’ as Leona Helsmley derisively described them,” who saw that justice was done.

The Post speaks a language that transcends money:

“That bitch,” Brooke Astor famously called her daughter-in-law.

“No neck, and no class,” the grande dame of New York society would sniff to friends — certain that the ruddy wife of her only child was making a back-door, dimpled-fisted grab at her diamonds, her cash and even her mantle as a philanthropist.

Yesterday, Astor got payback.

But the Astor tale is not the only sordid courtroom drama wrapping up in today’s papers! Hiram Monserrate’s defense has rested its case, without any testimony from Monserrate himself. According to the Post:

Defense lawyer Joseph Tacopina said it was “very difficult” for Monserrate to remain mum when he stands “wrongly accused.”

He said the decision to keep Monserrate off the stand was made Tuesday night after reviewing the entire record of the trial.

“Obviously he’s had to remain quiet — while this trial is going on — about what happened that night,” the lawyer said. “He’s got a lot to say about it.”

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