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NEW YORK (Reuters) - The 85-year-old son of the late New York City philanthropist and socialite Brooke Astor was convicted on Thursday of looting his mother's estate while she was suffering from Alzheimer's disease.
Anthony Marshall, Astor's only son, was charged in 2007 with grand larceny, criminal possession of stolen property and falsifying business reports tied to his handling of his mother's fortune, estimated to be worth around $200 million.
Astor died in August 2007 at age 105.
A New York state court jury convicted Marshall on 14 of 16 counts after deliberating for 12 days, during which time jurors told the judge of heated debate that left some feeling threatened. The trial lasted 19 weeks.
Marshall, who remains free on bail, could spend the rest of his life in prison. He faces a sentence of up to 25 years.
Estate lawyer Francis Morrissey, 66, was also convicted on five counts including scheming to defraud Astor and forgery. He faces up to seven years in prison.
The trial has filled the gossip pages and enthralled New York's high society. Witnesses included television journalist Barbara Walters and former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.
Defence lawyers had argued Astor was mentally competent to make changes to her will and she did so because she felt guilty that she had not been a more attentive mother.
Astor had married Vincent Astor, heir to the real estate fortune of John Jacob Astor. She inherited about $60 million, which grew over the years, allowing her to leave some $195 million from her estate to charitable groups, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the New York Public Library.
In Astor's last years, a court ordered her care be taken away from Marshall after he was accused by his son of keeping her in squalid conditions. Marshall denied the accusations.
(Reporting by Edith Honan; Editing by Daniel Trotta and Eric Beech)

Reuters