Local News

Man convicted of James Jordan's murder finds hope in appeal for new hearing

Daniel Green, convicted of the 1993 murder of James Jordan, father of basketball start Michael Jordan, believes his latest appeal gives him a chance at a new trial.

Posted Updated

By
Amanda Lamb
, WRAL reporter

Daniel Green, convicted in 1996 of the 1993 shooting death of James Jordan, father of basketball star Michael Jordan, believes his latest appeal, filed Friday, gives him a chance at a new trial.

"I’m hopeful about the appeal," he told WRAL News in a phone interview." I hope the court will listen and follow the established legal precedent.”

His attorney, Chris Mumma, executive director of the North Carolina Center on Actual Innocence, has a long record of helping the wrongly convicted.

"I’ve been diagnosed as pathologically hopeful," she said, "and I would say in Daniel’s case that would be an accurate diagnosis for me to be hopeful at this point."

Green has admitted to helping his codefendant, Larry Demery, dispose of Jordan‘s body. But he has always maintained his innocence when it comes to the actual killing. He says he was not there and was not involved. He has been in prison for 28 years.
In the appeal filed last week, Mumma asks for a hearing on new evidence in the case, a hearing she argues was wrongly denied last year.
Key to the new evidence is a statement from Demery, who, Mumma says, told her Green was not there when Jordan was killed. She believes Demery, who is up for parole in 2023, will testify to that fact – contradicting his testimony from Green's original trial – if a new hearing is allowed.

She also cites errors by judges and Green's defense attorneys that she thinks warrant further consideration, including a witness who says she saw Green at a party at the time of the murder.

Mumma also questions several pieces of evidence including testimony involving the shirt that James Jordan was wearing. The coroner found no bullet hole at the time of the autopsy that corresponded with the wound in Jordan’s chest, but years later at trial there was a bullet hole in the shirt. There was also no scientific evidence of blood being found in James Jordan‘s car, yet an SBI agent testified that in her opinion there was blood. Additionally, Mumma hired a ballistics expert who concluded, based on the trajectory of the bullet, that the shooting could not have happened as described by Demery.

"I truly believe he has been denied justice since the day he was arrested," Mumma said.

It could take several months for the court to rule on the appeal.

The North Carolina Court of Appeals filing and its outcome are the subjects of episode twelve of WRAL's true crime podcast Follow The Truth: The Daniel Green Story. You can listen to it on Apple podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts.

 Credits 

Copyright 2024 by Capitol Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.