Man convicted of killing Michael Jordan's father wants new, wider ranging trial

The man who killed Michael Jordan’s father wants a new trial 25 years after the man’s death. (AP Photo/Charles Bennett, File)
The man who killed Michael Jordan’s father wants a new trial 25 years after the man’s death. (AP Photo/Charles Bennett, File)

One of the men convicted of killing Michael Jordan’s father in 1993 is asking for a new, wider ranging evidentiary hearing and trial to prove his innocence.

According to the Associated Press, a defense attorney for Daniel Green asked for a new trial based on alibi witnesses and evidence of innocence that they say weren’t given a close enough look, thereby violating his constitutional rights to a fair trial.

From Tuesday’s Associated Press story before the court hearing:

“I had nothing to do with this man losing his life, period. I wasn’t connected to the murder. I came in after he was already dead. … The way I look at it is: I denied his family the right to a proper burial because of what I did,” Daniel Green told the AP in an interview last week at the Lumberton Correctional Institution in Robeson County, North Carolina, the same county where Jordan was killed.

Green, 44, said he wasn’t present at the murder, but did help dump James Jordan’s body. The first-degree murder conviction has been upheld by two state courts previously. Defense attorney Chris Mumma, who leads the nonprofit North Carolina Center on Actual Innocence, became involved in the case in recent years.

The judge said he would go over the motions and evidence before deciding if the case will proceed.

James Jordan murdered during road trip

Jordan was on his way from Wilmington, North Carolina, on July 22, 1993, back home to Charlotte where he was going to catch a plane the next morning to Chicago. He stopped his Lexus alongside the highway to rest and was shot as he slept during a robbery that went sideways.

He was not found until 11 days later in a swamp in McColl, South Carolina. The Chicago Tribune looked back on the case this past August, 25 years since it happened.

Michael, who now owns the Charlotte Hornets, led the Chicago Bulls to three of his six titles before his father was killed.

Green and Larry Demery, childhood friends, are each serving life sentences for the murder. Green was the one in the video shortly after Jordan’s murder rapping with Michael Jordan’s NBA All-Star ring and gold watch the son gave his father. Green, who was found to be the triggerman in the killing, maintains he got it from the car after the killing.

Why is Green asking for a new trial?

Mumma, the defense attorney, argued that “ineffective counsel,” according to the Associated Press, didn’t explore ballistics evidence that cast doubt on Green’s role in the actual murder. She also cited questions about testimony regarding blood on Jordan’s car seats and discrepancies in the description of a bullet hole in the man’s shirt.

Additionally, it also didn’t call testimony by witnesses who saw Green at a house party when Jordan was killed, Mumma argued. The case against Green, she said, was based primarily on testimony from Demery. She said he changed his stories multiple times and had incentive to lie to avoid the death penalty.

“The truth has never been heard in this case, and there can be no justice without truth,” said Mumma.

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