Pharma Exec Who Killed Son with Autism, 8, Should Go Free After Overturned Conviction: Judges
Gigi Jordan admitted to poisoning her son in 2010 and was sentenced to serve 18 years for manslaughter
A former pharmaceutical executive and New York socialite who confessed to poisoning her 8-year-old son who had autism should be set free from prison after a ruling that overturned her manslaughter conviction, an appellate court ruled Wednesday.
Gigi Jordan was sentenced in 2015 to serve 18 years in the death her son, Jude, whom she poisoned with a cocktail of prescription drugs, vodka and juice in a luxury suite at New York’s Peninsula Hotel in February 2010.
She said she did so out of “a mother’s love,” in the fear that her first husband might kill her and that she was saving the child from being turned over to his biological father, her second husband, whom she suspected of child abuse, reports The New York Times.
“I wanted him to be safe and at peace at any cost,” Jordan told told CBS New York in 2014, adding that she attempted to take her own life after taking her son’s.
Her first husband denied the accusation, while the biological father denied the claim, and was never charged.
But during Jordan's 2014 trial, according to the Times, the judge overruled her defense attorney's objections and cleared the court for a closed-door hearing requested by the prosecutor. The judge then put the records of that hearing under seal.
Although the judge later reversed himself and put the transcripts of that hearing on the record, Jordan's defense team subsequently argued that his initial action violated Jordan's Sixth Amendment right to a "speedy and public trial."
In September, a federal judge agreed and ordered that Jordan receive a new trial, reports the Times.
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The office of Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance appealed the order and pushed to keep Jordan imprisoned while it considers its next steps.
But on Wednesday, a three-judge panel of the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the district attorney's request, stating in a one-page order, “Jordan has already served some 11 years of her sentence, more than 70 percent of her likely provisional sentence; and the State does not argue that Jordan will pose a danger to the public if released,” report the New York Post and the Daily News.
Attorney Ron Ruby, who previously represented Jordan, told the Daily News: “Ms. Jordan has spent 11 years behind bars without a fair trial and the 2nd circuit has recognized that. Enough is enough.”
Jordan remained in custody at the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility in Westchester County on Friday, jail records show, but will be transferred by Monday for a bail hearing in the Southern District of New York by Monday, according to court papers cited by the Post.
In a statement, spokesman Danny Frost of the district attorney's office said: “Our Office strenuously disagrees with the grant of habeus in this case, which misapprehends the applicable law, and if it becomes necessary we will re-try Ms. Jordan for the premeditated killing of Jude Mirra, her 8-year-old son.”
At Jordan's trial, a jury heard her lawyer claim that she was in a state of “extreme emotional disturbance” at the time she poisoned her son, and found her guilty of first-degree manslaughter. She faced a sentence of 5 to 25 years.
Jordan herself addressed Judge Charles Solomon at her sentencing, telling him, “I’ll live with guilt for the rest of my life every day. Not one day goes by that I don't remember his beautiful face and his pain,” reported New York City radio station 1010 WINS.
Solomon said he didn’t believe anything Jordan said. He added that there was no credible evidence that the child was ever sexually abused and affirmed his belief that Jordan couldn’t accept her son’s autism.
“She had all the money in the world to help Jude,” Solomon said. “Instead, she took his life.”