Friday, 18 Jan 2019

He was convicted of the murder of Michael Jordan's father. New evidence could change everything.

Daniel Green is serving a life sentence for the 1993 murder of James Jordan, father of former NBA great man Michael Jordan. (Sara D. Davis / AP) The body was found in the Gum Swamp, a dark black water finger fringed by sloping pine long-leafed walls near the northern border of South Carolina. A local fisherman, looking for catfish and perch, saw the man face-down in the tangled brook on a branch, while a summer storm was cracking overhead. the head. It was August 3, 1993. He was fully dressed but he lacked shoes. Authorities in the nearby town of McColl, S.C., could not find any piece of identity. The heat and the water had seriously devoured his features. A subsequent autopsy revealed that a single bullet .38 had been sunk into the upper right breast of the anonymous victim. The county was rural, his coroner a part-time employee who owned a construction company. He noticed expensive dental work in the corpse's mouth. The bones of the jaw were thus saved, as well as the hands, in case someone would advance to identify the remains. In a few days, the South Carolina authorities realized that the body did not belong to a local or a vagrant, but to James Jordan, the father of the NBA's supernova, Michael Jordan. In 1996, two young men from the region, Daniel Green and Larry Demery, were sentenced to life imprisonment for the role played in the death of James Jordan, in what prosecutors described as a two-car hijacking by two troublemakers in search of thrills. This story, however, might soon be upset. This week in North Carolina, Green and his lawyers appeared before Superior Court Judge, Winston Gilchrist, to argue for a new trial. Green, who has acknowledged his involvement in the destruction of Jordan's body but has maintained his innocence in the assassination since his arrest, has put a number of legal issues and new evidence before the courts, including ballistics. , bloody evidence and shocking links between local authorities. drug traffickers and the police in charge of the Jordanian investigation. "It has been stressful for him," Washington Post's Christine Mumma told the Green Lawyer at the Center on North Carolina's Real Innocence. "It felt as if his voice had not been heard." The state and the prosecutor who initially ruled the case maintained that Green's motion was unfounded. "He will never recognize what he's done," said the Attorney General of Robeson County, Johnson Britt, the Chicago Tribune. in August. "He just does not want to accept it." According to the Associated Press, Gilchrist announced Wednesday that it would make its decision at a later date. Michael Jordan sat on top of the glory and fortune of Mount Everest when his father was killed. Jordan As reported by the Tribune earlier this year, Jordan was wearing his son's 1986 NBA all-star ring. Jordan's Lexus SC400 red, an old Jordan, was adorned with a license plate – UNC0023 – celebrating both Michael's great friend, the University of North Carolina, and his shirt number. 1993, after the funeral of a colleague in Wilmington, North Carolina. Daniel Green was born in Philadelphia, but moved to Robeson County, North Carolina, while he was in third grade. He was alone and aware before meeting Larry Demery, a classmate from a local Native American family. Both quickly became close. "When you have a person who will not take you over, when she will be patient and will not propose words. . . he was a friend all the time, "explained Green. But Green says it was his connections that involved him in the murder of Jordan. Green's account of the night James Jordan died and his role in unloading his body at Gum Swamp have been consistent since his first trial. On July 23, 1993, Green and Demery were at a party at a friend's house. According to the motions filed in the name of Green, around 1:30 in the morning, Demery left the party alone while Green stayed at home. Later, Demery came back visibly upset. He asked Green to accompany him and together the two men left the party at 4:30 to go to the edge of a canal, near an area of ​​prostitution and prostitution. drug near the Quality Inn. Demery explained that he had left earlier in the night for a drug smuggling. Instead, Demery had had a confrontation with a man in a red Lexus and shot him down. Together, the two men placed the dead man near the border in South Carolina, but not before taking his business. In the days following the murder, both men used the Lexus and the car phone. The calls eventually led the investigators to Demery and Green. Demery pleaded guilty to the murder charges and agreed to testify against Green. When Green's murder trial began in January 1996, the entire state case was based on Demery's account. He told the jury that he and Green had met Jordan sleeping in his parked car near the highway. Jordan's green shot as the victim woke up in the front seat, said Demery. Two testimonies reinforced the story of Demery. Jennifer Elwell, a state forensic investigator, told the jury that blood had been found inside the Lexus, which is consistent with Demery's story that Green shot Jordan. "I think you have blood," she told the jury, according to a court record. Another state investigator introduced the t-shirt Jordan wore when he was killed. The officer said that the clothes were carrying a bullet surrounded by a "dark ring", which corresponded to traces of gunfire in the upper right of the chest, to the place where the fatal blow had entered. But now, Green's lawyers are questioning these two essential testimonies. According to the filing, Elwell was not accurate in his testimony about the blood tests. In fact, while two initial tests suggested the possible presence of blood in the car, four follow-up tests found none. And the lawyers in Green's initial trial have never heard of these negative tests. In 2011, Elwell told Green's defense team that his testimony was no longer final. "I did not know. . . if it was blood or not blood, "she said, according to the court's ranking. "It could have been anything." Evidence of blood in the case was also destroyed almost immediately after the trial, according to Green's motion. Elwell later admitted that it was out of the ordinary, and the lab manager also told the legal team that the evidence had been destroyed without his knowledge. The shirt proof is also now debatable. According to Green's record, when a medical examiner conducted an autopsy on Jordan in 1993, his report indicated that there was no hole in the garment corresponding to the gunshot wound in the upper chest. Instead, there were three holes lower in the shirt, suggesting that it had been raised during the shooting. However, a second report presented at the trial mentioned a hole in the upper chest. Green's attorney now suggests that the second report supporting the thesis of the state of the crime is suspect. "The absence of a hole in the right chest, combined with the three holes in the underside of the jersey, contradicts the state theory that Mr. Jordan was lying in his car when he was shot down," he said. says Green's file. "It also reinforced the theory of defense that there was an altercation between Demery and Mr. Jordan." Green's motion for a new trial also rests on mistakes made by his lawyers in the 1996 trial. Although they told the jury that they would provide alibi for Green during the The lawyers were not able to convince enough witnesses to claim that Green was still present after Demery's departure, and now pleaded with his lawyers. The trial attorney also did not recognize that a juror had previously been accused by a juror The most troubling aspects, by far, alleged in Green's new motion suit are the lengths of investigators who pushed the investigators to dismiss Jordan's case of figures directly related to the Robeson County Sheriff's Office, the body that managed the arrests. indicate that on the night of the murder, a telephone call was made from the phone of the Jordanian car to a local number belonging to Hubert Larry Deese, who worked with Demery at a mobile home company located one and a half kilometers from the place where the Jordan's body was thrown. Deese was also friends with members of the Robeson County Sheriff's Office, including Mark Locklear, the head of the agency's narcotics unit, and one of the main investigators of Jordan's murder. Deese was also the son of Hubert Stone, Robeson County Sheriff. Deese was also a major drug trafficker at the time. Seven months after Jordan's murder, federal authorities have arrested Deese on a cocaine trafficking plot, according to reports. "He was not a street vendor either," Locklear told Green's legal team. "We are talking about pounds and pounds." But these links were never detailed for Green's original defense, according to the documents filed, while the authorities were aware of these links. Green's lawyers claimed that Demery was working for Deese at the time of the murder – a suggestion that Locklear himself admitted later, he did not know, but would not "surprise" him. Highlighting the problematic link between law enforcement and Demery, Green's lawyers pointed out that investigators had interviewed all the people interviewed by Demery and Green on the phone of the Jordanian car, with the exception of Deese. "I do not have an answer," Locklear told Green's lawyers when asked why Mr. Deese was not interviewed in the Jordan case, according to court documents. In the early 2000s, the Robeson County Sheriff's Office was involved in a federal corruption investigation entitled "Tarnished Operation Badge." Twenty-two officers have been charged with crimes including perjury, drug trafficking and money laundering. Neither Locklear nor Sheriff Stone were involved in the federal investigation. Stone died in 2008. His son Deese served his four-year prison sentence and was released in 1998. He has since denied any involvement in Jordan's death. 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