NEW YORK – A millionaire pharmaceuticals entrepreneur, living in fear and convinced a mutual death with her developmentally disabled 8-year-old son was the only solution, deliberately gave him a lethal dose of prescription drugs and exchanged goodbyes but later tried to revive him, she told jurors on Thursday.
On hearing the boy, Jude Mirra, struggling to breathe, "my heart started pounding," Gigi Jordan testified at her murder trial.
"I raced over to him. I was crying and sobbing," she said. "I was crying and calling, 'Jude! Jude! Jude!' And then I started to attempt CPR."
Court ended for the day before Jordan delved much further into her account, which paints a different picture from prosecutors' dark portrait of a mother coolly killing her only son.
Jude was found dead of a drug overdose in a pill-strewn, deluxe Manhattan hotel room in February 2010, with Jordan on the floor. Emergency responders' accounts of her condition have varied from incoherent to composed.
Jordan says she set out to take her life and her son's for a complex set of reasons: Some ominous occurrences had convinced her that one of her ex-husbands would have her killed to keep her from raising allegations of financial malfeasance, and she felt that without her Jude would be unable to avoid a man she says sexually abused him.
"I couldn't see any way out of the situation," she said Thursday.
Both men have denied her allegations. Neither has been charged with any crime.
Prosecutors say Jordan had no right to kill Jude, whatever her reasoning.
They say Jordan climbed on top of her son and pried his mouth open — so forcefully that she left bruises on his face and chest — and plunged a deadly combination of painkillers, other drugs, vodka and orange juice down his throat with a syringe.
Then she got on her computer and transferred money out of her son's trust fund, Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Matthew Bogdanos has said. She also wrote a suicide note.
The nonverbal, often tormented-seeming Jude was initially deemed autistic but later was diagnosed with immune-system abnormalities, post-traumatic stress disorder and other problems, according to Jordan.
Nonetheless, she says, Jude disclosed the abuse to her with gestures, his few words and, later, by typing on computers in a technique known as facilitated communication, with her touching his arm.
Various authorities rebuffed her requests to investigate the abuse allegation, she said. One of her inquiries instead ended with her hospitalized for a psychological examination in 2008. She was released within days.
During their last weeks together, she said Thursday, 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.
She denied forcing the drugs down his throat and said the bruises reflect her effort to revive him.
Reach Jennifer Peltz on Twitter @jennpeltz.