NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- A multimillionaire mom, charged with killing her son by giving him a deadly cocktail of pills, is mounting a controversial defense.
Socialite Gigi Jordan was denied bail Thursday. Jordan is trying to prove she is sane and that her son's death was a mercy killing, reports CBS 2's Dave Carlin.
A family photo of mother and son could bolster the unusual defense that Jordan not only loved her 8-year-old boy, Jude, she loved him enough to end his life.
"Our position is she is legally sane, that she was in a position where she inevitably had to choose between horrible evils that is a lifetime of abuse of her son or a painless death or and as mother who loved her child she engaged in 'altruistic suicide filicide,'" defense attorney Alan Dershowitz said.
WCBS 880's Irene Cornell On The Attorneys' Antics
A "mercy killing" defense, a sane mother viewing death as a reasonable option for her child, followed by what was supposed to be a suicide.
Prosecutors say in early 2010 Jordan checked into the luxury Peninsula Hotel in Midtown and crushed up pills into a deadly cocktail for Jude.
Jordan and her lawyers allege the boy's biological father abused the boy sexually and was a constant threat, although he denies it and is not charged with a crime.
In a prison interview at Rikers Island, Jordan told the Wall Street Journal, "Being dead is not as bad as having that continue for the rest of his life. It's not as bad."
"She's extremely smart, extremely accomplished woman who's endured unimaginable horrors. And she is extremely sad; she is extremely sad it came to this," Dershowitz said.
Prosecutors describe the mercy killing defense as hollow. In court papers, Kerry O'Connell, the lead prosecutor, wrote, "While the defendant has a right to a defense, she does not get to simply conjure one from the ether."
Jordan's defense team told the judge she would be willing to foot the bill for around the clock armed guards, hoping to convince the court that could prevent her from fleeing or attempting suicide.
"He obviously wants to keep Miss Jordan in jail. He thinks that's appropriate," defense attorney Ron Kuby said.
The defense will also focus on a lost sample of Jordan's blood. Jordan's lawyers say it would have shown that she tried to commit suicide with a similar drug cocktail, evidence that now appears to be just like her young son -- gone forever.
The mercy killing defense was famously used in the Texas case of Andrea Yates, who drowned her five children in 2001. She was found not guilty of that crime by reason of insanity.
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