Mom guilty of manslaughter in autistic son's death

Gigi Jordan

CBS New York

NEW YORK - A health care millionaire who fatally drugged her developmentally disabled son in a luxury New York hotel has been convicted of manslaughter.

Gigi Jordan was charged with murder, but jurors Wednesday convicted her of the lesser charge.

Jude Mirra
CBS New York

Jordan's lawyers argue she was overcome by emotion when she killed the 8-year-old boy, Jude Mirra, and tried to kill herself in February 2010 at the Peninsula Hotel in Manhattan. They say she acted out of fear that her life was in danger and that her son would be left susceptible to abuse.

The medical entrepreneur left her career to seek treatment for her son. He was initially considered autistic, though she has said other diagnoses followed.

Prosecutors say Jordan deliberately killed the 8-year-old because she couldn't handle his disabilities. They say she brought 5,918 pills to the hotel with her and then used a pill crusher, orange juice and possibly vodka to make a poisonous cocktail that she forced into her son's mouth using a syringe.

Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Matthew Bogdanos has said that after killing the boy, Jordan got on her computer and transferred money out of her son's trust fund. She also wrote a suicide note.

Jordan's lawyers insisted their client was convinced her mob-connected ex-husband was going to kill her, leaving the child's biological father - who she claims sexually abused the boy - to care for him. In her mind, her son would be better off dead, her lawyers argued.

During the trial, Jordan testified that despite Jude being nonverbal, he could communicate with her by typing on a laptop and Blackberry. She said that is how he told her about the alleged abuse he endured at the hands of his father and others, which had bizarre satanic elements - from being forced to drink blood and kill animals to being zapped with electricity.

Jordan also testified that the boy typed a message to her saying he wanted to die.

During their last weeks together, she said, Jude tapped out messages supporting her plan to kill them both. And on the final night, "Jude and I were typing to each other and saying goodbye to each other," she said.

Jude's father denies the allegations of abuse and has not been charged. He has sued Jordan for slander.

Jordan faces up to 25 years in prison when she is sentenced.

Following delivery of the verdict Wednesday, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance said in a news release that Jordan is "finally" being held accountable.

"Gigi Jordan showed no mercy to her son, and should receive none at the time of her sentencing," Vance said.