Princeton grad, 34, faces life behind bars, convicted of killing dad who cut off his allowance

A Princeton University graduate faces a possible life sentence after being convicted Friday in the fatal shooting of his 70-year-old father.

Thomas Gilbert Jr., now 34, was 30 years old when he became angry with his father, whom New York authorities said had made cuts to the son’s weekly allowance of as much as $1,000.

The son had been living a lavish lifestyle of golf, surfing and travel – all paid for by his parents, prosecutors said.

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“The defendant rejected hard work, instead, preferring an easy life handed to him on a silver platter,” Assistant District Attorney Craig Ortner said in his closing argument earlier this week, according to the New York Post.

“The defendant rejected hard work, instead, preferring an easy life handed to him on a silver platter.”

— Craig Ortner, assistant district attorney
Thomas Gilbert Jr., right, appears in Manhattan Criminal Court on Friday, Jan. 9, 2015. (Getty Images)

Thomas Gilbert Jr., right, appears in Manhattan Criminal Court on Friday, Jan. 9, 2015. (Getty Images)

Beginning in 2014, the father began reducing the weekly payments by hundreds of dollars at a time – in hopes of inspiring the son to become more self-reliant. After making another reduction Jan. 4, 2015, the son shot his father in the head in the father’s New York City apartment, prosecutors said.

“A brilliant businessman, passionate tennis player, and beloved family man, Thomas Gilbert Sr. meant a great deal to all who knew him,” Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R, Vance said in a statement. “But in spite of all his love and generosity, this defendant shot his father at close range in his own apartment in an unconscionable and brutal crime.”

Prior to the killing, the son purchased a Glock handgun and visited websites including Hire-a-Killer.com and Find-a-Hitman.com, CNN reported.

After the killing, the son placed the gun in his dead father’s hand to make it seem like a suicide, prosecutors said.

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The son fled the apartment, but his mother was home and called police just minutes after the shooting. The son was arrested later that same night, prosecutors said.

A jury convicted Gilbert Jr. on second-degree murder and two counts of criminal possession of a weapon.

Sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 9, authorities said.