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Michael Jordan's father's killer challenging SBI testimony

Posted February 7

— More than two decades after Michael Jordan's father was gunned down in his car in Robeson County and his body dumped in a South Carolina swamp, appeals in the case grind on.

Daniel Green, one of two men convicted in James Jordan's murder, was back in court in Lumberton Friday, arguing that he should be granted a new trial because a state blood analyst provided misleading testimony during his 1996 trial.

Defense attorney Scott Holmes said Jennifer Elwell, an analyst at the state crime lab, testified that blood was found on the seat of James Jordan's car and called four follow-up tests "inconclusive." Those four tests were actually negative for blood, Holmes said, adding that Elwell's testimony influenced the jury.

"She testified, in her opinion, the substance in the car was blood," he said. "She would not have that opinion today, and she would not give the opinion."

At the time of Green's trial, the crime lab was part of the State Bureau of Investigation, and an independent audit of the lab in 2010 found that analysts omitted, overstated or falsely reported information about blood evidence in 190 cases from 1987 to 2003 that ended in convictions.

Green's case was among those listed in the audit, although his name was subsequently removed from the file. Holmes said the authors, two former FBI assistant directors, were "lobbied" to remove Green's name – it was the only one removed after the audit was released.

The audit included dozens of other cases on which Elwell worked. Holmes asked for a copy of an internal interview he believes SBI officials conducted with Elwell conducted during the audit.

Robeson County District Attorney Johnson Britt said Elwell was cross-examined extensively during the 1996 trial on blood testing.

Holmes noted that the blood evidence was destroyed while Green's case was on appeal, which is unusual, and authorities haven't been able to explain how or why that happened.

Green also maintains his trial lawyers were ineffective and that prosecutors never notified his defense team of a plea deal they struck with co-defendant Larry Demery, who was convicted of a lesser crime in exchange for his testimony implicating Green in James Jordan's murder.

James Jordan was shot to death in his car along U.S. Highway 74 near Lumberton on July 23, 1993. His body was found a couple of weeks later in a South Carolina swamp.

Green has repeatedly insisted that he didn't kill James Jordan, and members of his family, some of whom haven't seen him in years, said after the hearing that they still believe he will be cleared of the crime.

"It definitely gave me hope. It really did," said his sister, Ebony Moore. "He’s got people that have always been in his corner. We all love him, and we all support him. He promises me every time he talks to me that he’ll be home, and I do believe him."

Britt said prosecutors would turn the entire case file over to Holmes, adding that he doesn't believe anyone violated Green's right to a fair trial.

"He not only received a fair trial, he received all of the information that he was entitled to," he said, adding that many of the issues raised by Holmes "will be resolved" once he reviews the case file.

Superior Court Judge Robert Floyd set hearing on Green's motion for relief for Feb. 2, 2015, giving defense attorneys and prosecutors months to lay out and respond to the various issues in the case.

20 Comments

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  • ecu4me2 Feb 10, 7:50 p.m.

    Reason no 10 why the death penalty works

  • brianeboni Feb 7, 6:55 p.m.

    What about the ones with family members that said that and it turned around to be true they were really innocent. Innocent people go to prison every day just be thankful that it has not happened to someone you really love or even to you. One thing I learned is to be careful about judging people because sometimes things have a way of coming back to you. He spent 2 1/2 years in prison for a crime they later came back and took off his record and stated he never should have been convicted. The star witness was offered a plea deal to do less time that he would have done for the other charges not connected with this trial. They needed a conviction and they did everything in their power to get one. My heart goes out to the Jordan family for their loss and I pray one day the truth comes out.

  • didisaythat Feb 7, 6:26 p.m.

    No one in Prison is guilty...haven't you listened to their relatives say they were good people that would never do anything wrong and was trying to turn their life around?

  • disgusted2010 Feb 7, 4:58 p.m.

    It isn't "liberal" lawyers who do these things, it's defense attorneys. Stop calling anything... View More

    — Posted by LovemyPirates

    I suppose you think conservative lawyers are working night and day to get convicted murderers like Mike Peterson out of prison.

  • brianeboni Feb 7, 4:03 p.m.

    I am so thankful that God sits high and looks low. I know Daniel did not commit murder and the 15 non family members that was with him at the time know. I'm not saying he is perfect because no man is but he was not given a fair trial.

  • randrmomanddad Feb 7, 2:29 p.m.

    Aaahhh...ain't it fun spending tax payers money.?

  • geraniumposey Feb 7, 1:45 p.m.

    All we need is this criminal back out on the streets.

  • scubagirl2 Feb 7, 1:42 p.m.

    Of COURSE he is!!! everybody jumpin on this band wagon....

  • LovemyPirates Feb 7, 1:39 p.m.

    It isn't "liberal" lawyers who do these things, it's defense attorneys. Stop calling anything and anyone you don't like "liberal." It gives conservatives a bad name.

  • K9Tucker.LoveMYcop Feb 7, 1:00 p.m.

    Good grief you are guilty, no ifs, ands, or buts. Please continue to rot in jail where you belong.

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