RALEIGH — The North Carolina Attorney General’s Office has asked for another three weeks to respond to a request for a new trial for Daniel Green, who was convicted in 1996 of murdering Michael Jordan’s father.
The Attorney General’s Office was expected to respond by Friday to a motion for appropriate relief that Green’s attorneys filed earlier this month. An extension until May 20 has been requested, according to a Department of Justice spokesperson.
Green’s lawyers, who contend that Green did not kill James Jordan in 1993, but rather helped co-defendant Larry Demery dispose of the body, say their client should receive an evidentiary hearing, if not a new trial, based on newly discovered evidence.
Green was sentenced to life in prison after Demery pleaded guilty and testified against him, saying Green fired the shot that killed Jordan on July 23, 1993, while he was napping in his car along U.S. 74.
In documents filed April 4, Green’s attorneys say Demery has confessed to killing Jordan, that the lead juror in the trial conducted her own investigation of the case and that an expert’s testimony about blood at the murder scene was overstated. The April 4 filing is a supplement to a 2015 motion seeking a new trial for Green.
Among the newly discovered evidence cited in the April 4 motion is an affidavit from Connee Brayboy, former editor of the now-defunct Carolina Indian Voice newspaper, who says Demery confessed to her during an interview that he killed Jordan because he had witnessed a drug deal. Furthermore, Brayboy stated Demery told her Jordan was shot outside of his vehicle, not in it, where State Bureau of Investigation serologist Jennifer Elwell testified she had found blood, corroborating Demery’s account of the murder.
The motion also states that the jury forewoman, Paula Locklear, conducted her own investigation of the case, violating a judge’s orders.
According to the motion, Locklear visited the South Carolina swamp where the 56-year-old Jordan’s body was found, and “came to believe that Mr. Jordan had in fact been alive when his body was placed in the creek” — a different theory from what prosecutors presented and the jury ultimately affirmed by finding Green guilty.
Green’s attorneys also cast doubt on Elwell’s original testimony, saying additional tests yielding inconclusive and negative results were not disclosed and that Elwell was ordered to destroy blood evidence relating to the case.
Once the state’s response is filed, Superior Court Judge Frank Floyd will decide whether or not to hold an evidentiary hearing or trial.
Reach Sarah Willets at 910-816-1974 and follow her on Twitter @Sarah_Willets.