Astor Jurors Sympathized With Man They Found Guilty


As horrible as the Astor trial looked from the outside, it was worse on the inside. Vanity Fair spoke to eight of the jurors charged with deciding Anthony Marshall's fate, and unsurprisingly, found that convicting a fragile, henpecked 85-year-old man who carried a cane and frequently fell asleep in court of a crime that could put him in prison for the rest of his life was difficult. Though the jurors were mystified by the lack of character witnesses on behalf of the defense and disliked Marshall's wife, Charlene, they empathized with the defendant himself. “Tony Marshall was on trial, but it wasn't even called the Marshall trial,” one of them, Greta Goldberg, tells Vanity Fair. “Even in infamy, he was living in the shadow of his mother." Even though, in the end, they felt like they made the right decision, it didn't feel like much of a relief.

Returning to the jury room after the verdict, Yvonne Fernandez burst into tears. “It really broke my heart,” she says. “I don’t think they’re bad people, evil people.”

We'll see if the judge is as empathetic at the sentencing, which is December 8.

Inside the Astor Verdict [VF]