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Man convicted of murdering Michael Jordan's father files appeal for another day in court

The man convicted of killing Michael Jordan's father, James Jordan, filed an appeal with the NC Court of Appeals asking for another day in court.

Posted Updated

Amanda Lamb
, WRAL reporter

The man convicted of killing Michael Jordan‘s father, James Jordan, filed an appeal Friday with the Court of Appeals of North Carolina asking that he be granted another day in court.

Green was convicted in 1996 of the 1993 shooting death of the basketball star’s father. James Jordan‘s body was found in a South Carolina swamp three weeks after his disappearance. 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.
Green’s attorney, Chris Mumma, is with the North Carolina Center on Actual Innocence. She has a reputation for helping wrongfully convicted people get out of prison. In Friday’s filing, she says that Judge Winston Gilchrist erred in January of 2020 when he denied Green’s Motion for Appropriate Relief without holding a hearing where new evidence could be presented.

She is asking the Appeals Court to review and reverse the lower court ruling and grant Green an evidentiary hearing which could lead to a new trial.

She points to three issues in his case that she says merit this review including new evidence, a violation of Green’s due process rights and ineffective legal counsel.

At issue, Mumma says, are more than two dozen claims that Green made in his Motion for Appropriate Relief. A hearing on those issues is something he has been seeking for 21 years.

The claims include questions about the reliability of Green’s codefendant, Larry Demery, who testified against him. Demery’s testimony is largely responsible for Green‘s conviction. In addition, Mumma says Demery has recanted his testimony to her in a face-to-face meeting where he told her that Green is not responsible for the crime. Mumma provided an affidavit with the filing detailing the conversation with Demery where he admitted to falsely testifying at trial.

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.

Mumma says there were multiple eyewitnesses that placed Green at a party at the time Jordan was killed, but she says his defense attorneys failed to adequately present that evidence.  There were numerous other claims of inadequate representation raised in the filing.

“The petition is a plea for the Court of Appeals to grant Mr. Green's 21-year fight for an opportunity to present evidence the jury never heard to an objective court so he can prove that his trial was unjust and that he is innocent of the murder of James Jordan,” Mumma said.

Daniel Green‘s case is the subject of a new podcast from WRAL Studios called Follow The Truth. A new episode drops every Thursday. You can listen to it on Apple podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts.


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