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Jordan's Father's Killer Up for Parole in 2016

Posted March 6, 2008

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— One of the men convicted of killing basketball superstar Michael Jordan's father 15 years ago will be eligible for parole in 2016.

Larry Demery, 32, withdrew his guilty pleas in James Jordan's slaying and several unrelated robberies and re-entered them during a Thursday afternoon court hearing. Superior Court Judge Gary Locklear handed down a new sentence that called for all prison terms to be served concurrently.

"You're not getting anything based on good conduct in prison or anything else," Locklear told Demery. "This is what you should have gotten the day you were sentenced originally."

In July 1993, Demery and Daniel Green shot Jordan in the chest after finding him in his car along a Robeson County road. They stole his car and dumped his body in a swamp.

Demery pleaded guilty to the murder and a string of other robberies as part of a deal worked out with prosecutors. Under the plea agreement, the 40-year sentence for the robberies was supposed to be served at the same time as the life sentence on the murder plea, defense attorney Hugh Rogers said.

The concurrent sentences would have made Demery eligible for parole after 20 years.

The Department of Correction maintains that the Fair Sentencing Act, which was in effect at that time, required a sentence for armed robbery to run consecutive to any other sentence, department spokesman Keith Acree said.

Because prison officials were treating the sentences as consecutive, Demery's chance at parole was being delayed unfairly, Rogers said.

Rogers and Robeson County District Attorney Johnson Britt said the Department of Correction acted unilaterally in following those sentencing guidelines. The terms of the plea agreement should have superseded the Fair Sentencing Act, they said.

“Mr. Demery filled his end of the bargain,” Britt said, noting that Demery testified against Green in his 1996 trial.

“I think that the court and Mr. Britt and myself were all on the same page when we left the building, thinking in fact it was going to be a concurrent sentence, and it turned out it was not,” Rogers said.

"This is really what we were trying to accomplish is getting him closer to his time for parole, closer to the time when he may be able to get jobs outside the prison," he said, adding that he has another client in a similar situation.

The consecutive sentences would have forced Demery, who has incurred 14 infractions in prison and is being held in medium security, to spend more time behind bars than Green, the man Demery said fired the shot that killed James Jordan.

Green has made claims from prison that he wasn't involved in the murder of James Jordan, and he has been working on an appeal. He has incurred 62 infractions in prison and is being held in close custody with few privileges.

118 Comments

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  • RKBA Mar 7, 2:01 p.m.

    "Killers way worst(sic) than him get paroled all the time."

    Yes, and we all know two wrongs make a right, don't we?

  • RKBA Mar 7, 1:59 p.m.

    A perfect example of a dysfunctional criminal justice system.

  • BigUNCFan Mar 7, 10:24 a.m.

    Just because he is eligible does not mean he will get it.

    He has had infractions while in prison which will count against him.

    It may be 20-30 years before he actually is paroled at which time he may be in his 50s or 60s and be an old crook who is out of it.

    I think this is all about semantics.

    also, what company is going to hire an ex convict like this anyway so am not sure what jobs the lawyers are talking about?

    This guy is just a bum.

  • rumbleehockey03 Mar 7, 10:16 a.m.

    i say send him to texas and enforce some capitol punishment...i dont want my taxes paying for his sorry behind to rot in jail

  • granny2shoes Mar 7, 10:14 a.m.

    If you kill someone for no reason, you should never get out of prison. Self defense, protecting your home/family, trying to stop a criminal act from taking place are different. Out of pure meaness, you should rot in prison.

  • ranquick Mar 7, 8:57 a.m.

    NO NO NO he shoul dnever get parole, and MJ and family should be there evertime he has a hearing for parole. He is a murder, you cal slice, dice, chop it, he still KILL him, not matter what deals were made he should stay in prison,

  • whatusay Mar 7, 8:01 a.m.

    What a country...kill an innocent man, steal his car, dump his body and get another hearing so you can get a get out of jail free card.

  • Sandollar Mar 6, 6:38 p.m.

    I believe the laws should be changed. When a murder sentence is associated with other crimes, the murder sentence should be separate and apart from the sentences for the other crimes (even if the murderer pleads guilty).

  • Sandollar Mar 6, 6:31 p.m.

    Did the other guy that was convicted do everything by himself? The murder and the robbery. I pray the parole board remembers or is reminded how the victim was dumped in a swamp. The victim was left to rot in the swamp. Both guys need to be where they will rot.

  • HopingForABetterWorld Mar 6, 5:19 p.m.

    missladee, your comment is interesting. I wrote almost the exact same thing last week when this first appeared, and it wasn't posted.

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