Daniel Andre Green, a man serving a life sentence for murdering Michael Jordan’s father, James R. Jordan, Sr., requested a new trial this Wednesday. Green’s attorneys filed the request at a North Carolina Superior Court, claiming false evidence was presented during the 1996 murder trial against their client.
According to the Charlotte Observer, Green’s attorneys are asking for a new trial after indicating that multiple things were amiss during the 1996 trial, including incorrect blood evidence information.
The new trial request stems from the July 23, 1993 incident in which Green, along with co-defendant Larry Martin Demery, saw a red Lexus SC400 on the shoulder of State Road 74, close to Lumberton, North Carolina. Jordan, Sr., the owner of the Lexus, was inside the car, taking a nap.
The duo pulled up behind the car, walked up to Jordan, Sr., and shot him to death. Demery claimed that they only realized who the victim was after going through his belongings. After shooting him, they stole Jordan, Sr.’s cellphone and two NBA rings given to him by Michael Jordan.
The suspects were arrested rather quickly, after using the stolen cellphone to make a series of phone calls. Once arrested, Demery told police that the plan was to tie the victim up, but Green, seemingly out of nowhere, shot and killed Jordan, Sr. Subsequently, Green was found guilty of murder in 1996, but maintains that he never pulled the trigger.
In 2010, Green’s attorneys cited an outside audit, provided by the FBI, indicating that State Bureau of Investigation didn’t handle the case correctly. The attorneys claim that information regarding blood evidence was greatly falsified, not only in Green’s case, but a total of 190 cases between the years 1987-2003. Every case handled incorrectly, according to Green’s lawyers, resulted in convictions.
Green’s lawyers assert that not only was the blood evidence in the case mishandled, but that Green himself wasn’t provided with appropriate legal representation during his previous trial. The attorneys’ preliminary statement indicates that Green still maintains his innocence of shooting Jordan, Sr., but admits to helping Demery hide the victim’s body during the aftermath.
The statement also indicates that the only evidence tying Green to the crime scene was a small amount of blood found on the driver’s seat. The blood evidence testimony came from S.B.I. Agent Jennifer Elwell, who is now accused of misleading the jury with false information. Court documents show that Elwell now states that if she had to testify again, she would not say for certain that the substance found in Jordan, Sr.’s car was indeed blood.
Per Southern Coalition for Social Justice lawyer Ian Mance, a drug deal that went awry was the primary reason behind the murder, and that Green was not even present when the crime took place. If the blood evidence information was truly mishandled, Mance states that there is nothing proving that Green shot Jordan, Sr.
“The blood evidence was critical to securing Mr. Green’s conviction because it was the only physical evidence supporting Larry Demery’s version of events.”
Demery, who is up for parole in 2016, is said to have made deal with the prosecution to implicate Green in exchange for a lighter sentence.
(Photos Courtesy of Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images, Jonathan Daniel /Allsport, & Charlotte Observer)