NEW YORK – A pharmaceuticals multimillionaire charged with killing her autistic 8-year-old son in a deluxe hotel lost a bid Thursday to be released to house arrest, a bid she'd made in part by invoking the case of Dominique Strauss-Kahn.
Gigi Jordan was found incoherent in a pill-strewn room with her dead son, Jude Mirra, in February 2010. She says she felt justified in killing Jude and trying to kill herself to save them both from people she feared were after them.
After about a year and a half behind bars awaiting trial, Jordan modeled her bid for freedom on the conditions that got the International Monetary Fund leader released for a time to home confinement in his unrelated sexual assault case: $6 million in bail, armed guards and electronic monitoring.
Manhattan state Supreme Court Justice Charles Solomon noted that he had turned down a $5 million bond and house arrest proposal from Jordan last year. At the time, he cited factors including her roughly $40 million fortune and apparent psychological problems.
"The court still feels that the setting of bail is inappropriate in this case," Solomon said in a ruling Thursday.
And as for the parallel the 50-year-old Jordan drew to Strauss-Kahn, "what another justice does in a case involving very different charges, completely different circumstances and a different defendant has no bearing on this court's decision," Solomon wrote. Strauss-Kahn, who denies charges of trying to rape a hotel maid, was eventually released without bail after about six weeks on house arrest.
Jordan's lawyers said they planned to challenge the bail denial. Among other things, they argue the judge didn't give enough consideration to jail psychiatric reports indicating that Jordan's mental state has improved.
At this point, "she's on less medication than the average Manhattan professional," said lawyer Ronald Kuby, who is representing Jordan with Harvard University law professor Alan Dershowitz.
Manhattan prosecutors have previously called Jude's killing calculated and premeditated, and they've questioned the sincerity of the suicide attempt by Jordan, who made a fortune in the pharmaceuticals business before leaving it to care for her son.
Jordan, in a bail application so extensive it filled a plastic storage tub, says she felt she and her son faced such danger that she should take both their lives to spare him from suffering.
Jude had been tortured and abused by adults close to him, authorities rebuffed her pleas to investigate and a person in her and her son's lives had defrauded and manipulated her, she says. Ultimately, she says, she became worried she would be killed or institutionalized so that person could get control of Jude and her money.
She's planning to build a novel defense around the behavioral concept of altruistic filicide — child killing by parents who believe they're acting in the child's best interests.
The case has been muddied by the disappearance of the only sample of Jordan's blood taken shortly after her arrest: a sample that could help or hurt her claim of having tried to kill herself, though her lawyers pointed to other signs of a suicide attempt, including her physical condition when found and a computerized note she left.
Amid debate between defense lawyers and prosecutors over procedures for testing the small blood sample for various prescription drugs, it was never tested before getting lost at the hospital where it was stored, prosecutors said last month.
Jordan's lawyers filed papers Thursday seeking more information from prosecutors about the sample's disappearance.
Jennifer Peltz can be reached at http://twitter.com/jennpeltz
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