Trials & Litigation
Alternate Juror Says Lawyers in Brooke Astor Case Were ‘Cocky’
Posted Sep 23, 2009 1:02 PM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss
An alternate juror dismissed from deliberations in the criminal trial of Brooke Astor’s son says two of the lawyers in the case were a little too self-assured.
Alternate juror Gerard Parham, a chef at a Mexican restaurant in Queens, criticized lawyers from both sides: prosecutor Joel Seidemann and defense lawyer Frederick Hafetz, the New York Times reports. Both were “very cocky," Parham said.
Parharm said he was leaning 90 percent toward the prosecution, although he couldn’t be sure because he wasn’t part of the deliberations. Another alternate who declined to be named said the prosecution case was “very strong" and other jurors agreed, the New York Daily News reports.
Astor’s son, Anthony Marshall, and his lawyer, Francis Morrissey, are accused of taking advantage of Astor’s declining mental condition to benefit themselves.
A previous story on the slow pace of the trial said critics accused prosecutors of overtrying the case. Some jurors napped during dull testimony, rolled their eyes during drawn-out questioning and munched on sunflower seeds to pass the time.