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Verdict Upheld in Jordan Dad Case

June 2, 1998

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) _ The North Carolina Court of Appeals today rejected an appeal by the man convicted of murdering Michael Jordan’s father.

The majority in the 2-to-1 decision said it was a ``close call″ on the issue of whether Daniel Green was entitled to a new trial. He was convicted and sentenced to life in prison for the 1993 slaying of James Jordan.

Green challenged the conviction, saying he was effectively in custody during the seven hours he was questioned by law enforcement officers prior to his arrest.

While the appeals court ruled that Green was not in custody, Judge Donnie Smith, who wrote for the majority, said it was a close call on the issue of retrial. Judge Sidney Eagles sided with Smith, while Judge Clarence Horton dissented from the majority on the custody question and said Green deserved a new trial.

Jurors deliberated slightly more than four hours in late February 1996 before finding Green guilty of first-degree murder in James Jordan’s killing. Green also as convicted of armed robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery.

A second defendant in the case, Larry Martin Demery, told jurors that he watched in surprise as Green shot Jordan on July 23, 1993, as Jordan awakened from a roadside nap in his $40,000 Lexus coupe. The pair saw the car while they were stalking a motel parking lot along Interstate 95 for robbery victims, and decided to steal it.

Demery was the only eyewitness to the shooting. He pleaded guilty in 1995 to first-degree murder, armed robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery and was sentenced to life in prison.

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