Man Accused of Killing Jordan's Father Waives Mistrial Request
Jan. 10, 1996
LUMBERTON, N.C. (AP) _ A judge advised him to think again, but the man accused of killing Michael Jordan's father declined to request a mistrial after his lawyer asked an inappropriate question of a witness.
``There is no motion for a mistrial. Is that accurate?'' Superior Court Judge Gregory Weeks asked Daniel Andre Green on Tuesday.
``Yes, sir,'' Green responded.
Green, 21, is charged with first-degree murder, armed robbery and conspiracy to commit armed robbery in the shooting death of 57-year-old James Jordan. Green could get the death penalty if convicted.
Prosecutors say Green shot the elder Jordan to death July 23, 1993, as Jordan dozed in his Lexus along a roadside near Lumberton.
Defense attorney Woodberry Bowen opened the door for a possible mistrial while cross-examining dental expert Ernest Burkes, who was asked if he recalled a telephone conversation the two men had in 1993.
District Attorney Johnson Britt objected, and the jury was sent out while attorneys and the judge debated the question's propriety.
Weeks said Bowen should not have asked the question that way and might now have to testify that he thought Burkes misstated fact.
The judge said Bowen should have had an investigator call Burkes.
Bowen offered to drop the inquiry, but Weeks said not pursuing the question meant Green, if convicted, might have an appeals argument of ineffective counsel.
Weeks questioned Green's statement that he did not want a mistrial, then appointed another lawyer to advise him.
But Green stuck by his refusal.
Attorney Knox Chavis, who conferred with Green for about 20 minutes, said the defendant also waived his right to bring the mistake up on appeal.
Earlier Tuesday, three dentists testified that records showed the body pulled from a South Carolina swamp in 1993 was that of James Jordan and not someone else, as the defense has suggested.
During a court break, Bowen defended his actions. ``There is absolutely nothing in the canons of ethics that prevents an attorney from talking to a witness,'' Bowen said. ``Everybody does it. Matlock does it.''