Prosecutors say a multimillionaire mom killed her autistic 8-year-old son by forcing a toxic cocktail of painkillers and other drugs down his throat with a syringe in a luxury New York City hotel room.

Gigi Jordan's murder trial opened Wednesday.

The Manhattan district attorney's office portrays her as a calm, calculating killer. Her defense says fear and desperation drove the pharmaceuticals entrepreneur to kill the boy and try to kill herself.

Jordan's lawyer says she believed her life was in danger because of a financial conflict, and that without her, the boy would be vulnerable to a man she says abused him.

The boy, Jude Mirra, was found dead of a drug overdose and Jordan was found incoherent in February 2010. Their room was strewn with over 5,800 prescription pills.