Local News

Pastor argues for parole of man convicted of murdering Michael Jordan's father

Daniel Green faces his first chance at parole since the 1993 murder of James Jordan, Michael Jordan's dad

Posted Updated

Amanda Lamb
, WRAL reporter

The man convicted of murdering Michael Jordan's father, Daniel Green, is getting his first shot at parole.

Green has been in prison since his arrest in 1993. For the first time in 28 years, he is eligible to be considered for parole.

Three people, including his attorney, Christine Mumma, spoke to the head of the Parole Commission on his behalf Tuesday. She was joined by the president of the North Carolina NAACP and a pastor who says he was convinced to get involved after watching the Capitol Broadcasting docu-series "Moment of Truth."

"He called me one day, and then he took me in as a father figure," Pastor Tom Jones said.

He's been in contact with Green for several years. "He has always, to me, maintained his innocence, and he just convinced me. And I believed every word he said," Jones said.

Green admits to helping his co-defendant and best friend at the time, Larry Demery, get rid of James Jordan's body, but Green says he was not there when Jordan was killed. Demery took a plea deal and testified against Green. He has been granted parole in August 2024.

"This friend that he thought was his friend was trying to get out of prison," Jones said. "And he would say anything that was necessary. That's what he would do to get out of prison for himself."

Green's supporters spoke to Parole Commission Chairman Bill Fowler.

Jones acknowledges that the cloud of celebrity over the case shouldn't effect the outcome, but it could.

"Look who you're dealing with. You're talking about the father of the most famous athlete on the planet," he said.

When James Jordan was killed, Michael Jordan was leading the Chicago Bulls to the team’s third consecutive NBA championship, burnishing a legend that began at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he played for Dean Smith and won an NCAA championship.

Jones said he hopes that the commissioners will not be influenced by politics or celebrity of the case, but instead will study the facts.

The four commissioners are scheduled to release a parole decision for Green on Oct. 14. A majority must vote in favor of parole for it to be granted. If Green's parole is denied, he can apply again in three years.

Green has another chance at freedom, a pending appeal Mumma filed last month. She has asked for a new hearing 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 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.

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

Listen to episode eleven of WRAL's true crime podcast, Follow The Truth: The Daniel Green Story for in-depth reporting on Green's parole hearing.


Copyright 2023 by Capitol Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.