A jury of seven men and five women in New York Wednesday found pharmaceuticals executive Gigi Jordan, 53, guilty of first-degree manslaughter for feeding her autistic 8-year-old son a lethal drug.
Jordan faces anywhere from 5 to 25 years in prison. According to defense attorney Norman Siegel, “This was not a murder case, and that’s because there were extenuating and horrific circumstances. And Apparently the juror got it.”
The trial started on September 10, during four days of emotional testimony, Jordan admitted she gave her son a fatal dose of drugs at the Peninsula Hotel in February 2010. She said she asked him to wash the pills down with juice and vodka.
Prosecutor Matt Bogdanos presented expert testimony that showed the boy’s injuries were consistent with Jordan climbing on top of the boy and holding his mouth as she poured the lethal cocktail. Defense lawyer Allan Brennerpresented Jordan as a desperate mother ultimately driven to kill her son by her two former husbands. The defense said one ex-husband had allegedly threatened to kill her, a crime that would have left Jude with her other former husband – his biological father who she believed had sexually abused the boy.
Jordan said the boy was physically and sexually abused not only by his biological father, but also by others, including the woman who took Jude to school. She testified that the boy was assaulted by “a number of people.”
On the stand, Jordan described to the jury the last time she saw her son alive. Jude’s vocabulary was limited and he typed on a BlackBerry to communicate with her.
According to Jordan, they were typing throughout some period of time.
“We were saying goodbye to each other, at some point, I put the pills together. I gave him the pills.”
When police arrived at the hotel, they found Jordan, sitting next to the bed where her son lay unresponsive, surrounded by pills and pill bottles.
An autopsy found four of the painkillers and anti-inflammatories used to kill the boy still undigested in his stomach.
Prosecutors said the killing was premeditated and Jordan expected to survive, as Jude lay dying, Jordan sent an e-mail to a financial adviser instructing him to transfer the $125,000 trust she set up for her son to her personal account.
In addition, Jordan transferred $8 million from a savings to a checking account before checking into the hotel with her son. Jordan told the jury she planned on giving the money to charity before taking her life.