Homicide

Millionaire mom gets 18 years in jail for killing disabled son, 8, in NYC hotel

Gigi Jordan claimed it was a mercy killing

 

A self-made pharmaceuticals millionaire who gave her developmentally disabled 8-year-old son a fatal dose of Ambien and Xanax in February 2010 was sentenced to 18 years in prison by a New York City judge Thursday.

Gigi Jordan, 54, claimed that her son, Jude Mirra, had been sexually abused for years by his biological father and other men in her life. She argued she killed the boy to keep him safe from her ex-husband, who was planning to kill her and take her money, leaving Jude defenseless to more sexual torture. She then said she tried to kill herself.

Those claims were all rejected by Manhattan state Supreme Court Judge Charles Solomon, who said repeatedly that there was no credible evidence on the record to substantiate Jordan's story.

"All of her money, all of her resources, she decided to kill him," he said. "There were so many things she could have done."

Solomon added that he did not believe Jordan's suicide attempt to be genuine. He also admonished her for giving an interview to "Dr. Phil" while the trial jury was deliberating this past November, and wondered why she wasn't more repentant.

"One would think that I would hear something from the defendant about having remorse for what she did," he said. "She had five years to think about this. Never said, 'I'm sorry.'"

Prosecutors had charged Jordan with murder, arguing that Jordan had killed her son in a luxury New York hotel room because she couldn't care for him. However, the jury convicted Jordan on a lesser manslaughter charge, deciding she was under "extreme emotional disturbance".

Jordan never pursued a plea deal because she wanted to take the stand to tell her story, an account the jury apparently accepted when it convicted her of the lesser charge, said one of her attorneys, Ron Kuby, after the proceeding.

"The judge in the guise of paying lip service to the jury's decision went about trying to undo it," he said.

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. hailed the judge's penalty, calling Mirra's death "a premeditated act of child abuse." 

Prosecutors had asked Judge Solomon for a 25-year sentence. Jordan has spent the past five years in jail on Rikers Island, time that will count toward her sentence.

The former nurse, estimated to be worth $40 million, left her career to find treatment for her son, who was initially diagnosed autistic, visiting medical experts at universities across the countries. She said her son had an unexplainable condition and suffered from many symptoms including high blood pressure.

Jordan didn't report the alleged abuse directly to police but told therapists and in 2008 traveled to Wyoming where, in an attempt to meet with a child-exploitation investigator, she was involuntarily hospitalized and underwent a psychological evaluation.

An assistant district attorney said the system failed Jude when doctors there released her and found she wasn't a threat to herself and anyone else.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.