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Trial Begins For Socialite Gigi Jordan, Accused Of Killing Son In NYC Hotel

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Opening statements began Wednesday in the trial of a multimillionaire accused of killing her autistic son inside a Manhattan hotel room.

Socialite Gigi Jordan was arrested in 2010 after police said they found her 8-year-old son, Jude Mirra, dead from a drug overdose in a 16th-floor suite at the Peninsula Hotel in Midtown.

Investigators say his mother was found nearby with a concoction of pills and a suicide note, babbling incoherently.

Trial Begins For Socialite Gigi Jordan, Accused Of Killing Son In NYC Hotel

In his opening statement, prosecutor Matt Bogdanos described to jurors the scene at the ritzy hotel suite, WCBS 880's Irene Cornell reported.

The prosecutor said Jordan, who made her fortune in the pharmaceutical business, brought with her 5,918 pills -- including Xanax, Prozac, Ambien and hydrocodone. Bogdanos said in opening arguments that "there were enough pills in that room to fill a pharmacy shelf."

She 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, Bogdanos said.

Jude Mirra
Jude Mirra (credit: Handout)

While Bogdanos told the jury he expects the defense to argue that Jordan was emotionally disturbed, he described how while Jude lay dying, she sent an email to a financial adviser instructing him to close out the $125,000 trust she set up for her son.

Suggesting the killing was premeditated and that Jordan expected to survive, Bogdanos said she "went to the bank, she transferred $8 million from savings to checking. She checked in without a reservation and paid cash."

Defense attorney Allan Brenner said Jordan was trying to protect Jude. She was convinced her mob-connected ex-husband was going to kill her, leaving the child's biological father -- who she said sexually abused the boy -- to care for him, Brenner said. In her mind, her son would be better off dead, the lawyer said.

The father denies the allegations and has never been charged.

Brenner said there was no malice or murderous intent in Jordan's actions, but "only the firm love and devotion that everyone who came into contact will them will swear to."

Experts say the type of mercy killing defense has never been attempted in the absence of an insanity plea. As Young reported, Jordan has not agreed to be examined by a psychiatrist and has been held without bail since her arrest.

Brenner confirmed in Wednesday's opening statements that his client will take the stand in her own defense. She could take the stand as early as next week, CBS 2's Lou Young reported.

"All I can tell you is Gigi has a story to tell and is anxious to do so," Brenner said. "She's been waiting four years."

The disturbing discovery was made after Jordan, a native of Belgium, emailed relatives there saying she was planning to kill herself and her son, triggering a frantic search of the hotel by police.

By the time officers arrived, the boy was facedown on a bed and dead.

The trial is expected to last about two months.

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