Now on trial for murder, Thomas Gilbert Jr. had spent his 20s surfing in the Hamptons and living off his parents.

Five years after he graduated with an economics degree from Princeton, Thomas Gilbert Jr. walked into a Hamptons surf shop and asked if they needed an instructor.

At 29, Gilbert — who grew up in Manhattan's elite social circles with wealth and connections — might have been expected to climb to the top of the world of finance, as his father and uncle had done.

Instead, the son of a successful hedge fund founder was surfing, going to exclusive