Innocence advocate representing man convicted of killing Michael Jordan’s father
LUMBERTON, NC (WWAY) — Claims of evidence tampering and due process violations are reasons why the North Carolina Center on Actual Innocence is joining the defense of the man convicted of killing Michael Jordan’s father.
Daniel Green is one of two men convicted of killing James Jordan. He was shot to death in his car on July 23, 1993 along US 74 in Lumberton.
“We agreed to join Mr. Green’s defense team after recognizing the egregious nature of the injustice in the case,” said attorney Chris Mumma. “This newly identified evidence of tampering adds to the growing list of legal concerns and factual evidence which add weight to the conclusion that not only does Daniel Green deserve a new trial, but that he is innocent of the murder of James Jordan.”
The claims surround a purported bullet hole in the shirt of Jordan’s shirt, a key piece of evidence at trial, that was not present during the autopsy.
According to a news release, Jordan’s shirt was removed from his body by Dr. Joel Sexton at the time of the autopsy. According to the autopsy report, Dr. Sexton looked for but did not find a corresponding hole in the right chest area of the shirt Jordan was wearing. After describing the location of the fatal chest wound, Dr. Sexton wrote, ‘There is no hole in the shirt at that point.’
In the motion filed in Robeson County Superior Court yesterday, Dr. Sexton gave the shirt to a law enforcement officer, who then gave it to an employee of a company that provided services for funeral homes. That employee handed the shirt to his boss, who buried it in his yard because of the smell. When law enforcement determined the shirt was evidence, the North Carolina SBI worked with SC law enforcement to exhume the shirt and transport it to Raleigh. Contrary to results of the prior examination, the SBI agent “reported the presence of a bullet hole in the upper right chest region of the shirt.”
“Multiple notations in the autopsy report make clear the pathologist looked for but could not find a hole in the location of Mr. Jordan’s shirt that would have corresponded with the gunshot wound,” said Ian Mance, an attorney with the Southern Coalition for Social Justice who represents Daniel Green. “The report indicates instead that holes located lower on the shirt represented the likely point of entry for the bullet. The improper manner in which the evidence was handled makes it unclear how or when the evidence was altered.”
Green has repeatedly said he did not kill Jordan but only helped Larry Demery dump the body in a Marlboro County, South Carolina, swamp.
Green and Demery were both sentenced to life without the possibility of parole.
Green has been seeking a new trial for years.