Five days before Tommy Gilbert allegedly murdered his father, Tom Gilbert, in his father’s Beekman Place apartment on January 4, 2015, Gilbert Jr. appears to have made a round trip from Penn Station to East Hampton, where his family had a house in Georgica Estates in Wainscott.
Evidence of that trip was presented, without comment, in the Manhattan courtroom of State Justice Melissa Jackson Tuesday, June 4, by the detective who arrested Tommy Gilbert on January 5, 2015.
Detective Joseph Cirigliano later told the jury that when police searched Gilbert’s locked room in his family’s house at 8 Georgica Association Road in Wainscott in March 2015 after the murder, they found locked in a safe over 100 rounds of ammunition and two holsters for the Glock .40 caliber semi-automatic handgun the son was said to have used to kill his father.
His mother, Shelly Gilbert, had testified May 28 that her son, whom she was very close to, but had not heard from in the weeks before the alleged murder, had put a lock on his door in the Wainscott house in 2014. Prosecuting attorney Craig Ortner told the jury during his opening statement that Tommy Gilbert had planned the murder well in advance, from the beginning of 2014.
The train ticket that was introduced as evidence by the detective was one of many items stuffed in Gilbert’s wallet the day he was arrested. An image of the off-peak ticket was released to the media. The ticket was purchased by cash on December 31, 2014, at 4:10 PM, apparently at Penn Station. There is a train that leaves Penn Station weekdays at about 4:30 PM bound for East Hampton. The round-trip ticket was punched five times by conductors, meaning it was used both directions.
Gilbert has been placed by a witness as being in Manhattan, at his West 18th Street apartment, the evening of January 2, 2015.
Tom Gilbert celebrated his 70th birthday on January 1, 2015. Shelly Gilbert stated in her testimony that she and her husband had not seen or had any contact with their son until he showed up at their Beekman Place apartment the afternoon of January 4, 2015. The son allegedly shot his father in the head at pointblank range after sending his mother out on an errand.
The reason Gilbert would make a round trip to East Hampton has not been touched on, thus far, during the trial, which is now in its third week. Many families in the Georgica Association spend their holidays in Wainscott. The Gilberts were no different, with the home being the center of their lives, particularly during the holidays. Shelly Gilbert said during her testimony it was their true home.
While the Gilberts spent most of their holidays in Wainscott, it appears they were not there on New Year’s Eve, 2014.
The prosecution has not yet addressed in their presentation where they believe Tommy Gilbert stored the gun in the months before the murder.
Gilbert purchased the weapon from a Clarksburg, OH, man, John Jay Bennett. Bennett testified last week that he had advertised the Glock on Facebook at the beginning of May 2014, and that Gilbert had responded. After a series of emails back and forth, Gilbert agreed to drive to Ohio to take possession of the gun. Bennett, for the agreed upon $575, included about 150 rounds of ammunition, a couple of holsters, a laser sight, and a speed loader, which would greatly increase the speed at which the user of the Glock could reload magazines into the gun..
Bennett described Gilbert, who was sitting in his living room in Clarksburg, as gleeful when he finally had the Glock in his hands, repeatedly saying, “I can’t believe how easy this is.”
At one point, as Gilbert and Bennett negotiated the transaction via email, Bennett wrote, “I know you will have a great deal of fun with her.” He signed the email, “Your obedient servant, In Christ, Jay Bennett.”