New Wrinkle in Murder of James Jordan Sr., Michael Jordan’s Father

In the odd case of the murder of James R. Jordan, Sr., the father of basketball legend Michael Jordan, a new twist has developed as one of the defendants attempts to get a new trial.

Though it’s been almost 25 years since he was killed, the case of the murder of James Jordan Sr., Michael Jordan’s father, cannot be put to rest yet. One of the men put away for the crime is seeking to overturn his conviction.

Murder of James Jordan Sr.

The summer of 1993 should have been a long celebration for basketball star Michael Jordan and his family. Michael had won his third straight NBA championship, and while the accomplishment wasn’t just his, he is seen as the lynchpin of the Chicago Bulls during that period.

Michael’s father, James, was often credited as the driving force of Michael’s basketball career. On July 23, 1993, James went missing. Unfortunately, due to his occupation at the time, James often traveled for business, and it wasn’t unusual for him to be out of contact with the family for a few days at a time.

James would be reported missing four days later, and on August 3, 1993, his decomposed body was found in a South Carolina swamp.

Wrong Place at the Wrong Time

The death of James Jordan, Sr. really comes down to being at the wrong place at the wrong time. Driving home to Charlotte, North Carolina, after a friend’s funeral, James pulled over for a nap. At the time, he was driving a brand-new “Lexus 400.”

Daniel Andre Green and Larry Martin Demery came upon the car, shot James, and then stole the car. It was later found stripped. The men had no idea whom they had murdered until they began stealing the dead man’s belongings, including two NBA championship rings gifted to James from his son. Due to using James’ cell phone to make calls, the two were caught quite quickly after the car was found.

Both men would be found guilty of the crimes associated with James’ murder, and both were sentenced to life in prison. While Demery has accepted his fate, Green has not gone quietly.

A New Trial?

During the trial, Demery flipped on Green, accusing Green of being the trigger man in the murder. While Green denied it at the time, evidence seemed to prove that he did kill James Jordan, Sr. Or did it?

Green and his attorneys filed motions in 2016 seeking a new trial due to misleading testimony and misconduct by the prosecutor. When that didn’t pan out, Green’s legal team filed motions again, this time accusing the prosecution of evidence tampering. According to Green’s team, there was initially no bullet hole found in James’ shirt. The bullet hole was only logged in later, contradicting the initial autopsy.

Green’s latest setback does not directly involve the facts of his case. Rather, the judge who was to decide on the newly presented information has been pulled from the case. This is due to a law in North Carolina that prevents retired judges who return to the bench to fill judicial gaps from taking lengthy cases unless they involve business disputes.

This may delay Green’s quest for a new trial by months, depending on when a new judge takes up his case.