LUMBERTON — One of two men convicted in the 1993 murder of Michael Jordan’s father was in a Robeson County court on Friday, insisting upon his innocence.
Daniel Andre Green, now 39 years old, argued that he should be retried, saying a state blood analyst erroneously reported blood tests during the 1996 trial and misled the jury in her testimony. Green is currently serving a life sentence for robbing and shooting to death James Jordan while he was sleeping in his car on U.S. 74 in Robeson County on July 23, 1993.
Jordan’s body was found in a South Carolina swamp 11 days later; his car in was found in Cumberland County.
Green’s attorney, Scott Holmes, argued that four blood tests labelled “inconclusive” by state crime lab analyst Jennifer Elwell were actually negative, according to District Attorney Johnson Britt, who has prosecuted the case since it began. Elwell had testified that blood was found on the seat in Jordan’s car.
Larry Martin Demery, who is now 38, pleaded guilty to his role in the shooting and was also sentenced to life in prison.
The case was one of 190 listed as containing omitted or falsely reported evidence following a 2010 audit of the State Bureau of Investigations’ crime lab. Chris Swecker, a former FBI agent who helped author the audit, removed the case from the list soon after, saying it has been included by mistake.
“They alleged in court today that they believe the SBI put pressure on Mr. Swecker … to exclude the Jordan case from that list, which is a totally new claim,” Britt said.
Britt has stated in the past that Green’s conviction is solid, saying there is “overwhelming evidence of guilt” on both Green and Demery.
“Even if you remove the allegations about the blood, there’s still a mountain of evidence,” he said. The alleged murder weapon was found in a vacuum in Green’s mother’s home, along with video showing Green wearing specially commissioned jewelry that belong to Jordan.
Britt now has six months to complete a discovery process, which will include handing over the case file to Holmes.
“I will do what I did when we tried this case. I will give them everything I have,” Britt said.
Britt said he expects the case to be back in court for a hearing early in 2014. He said Holmes may interview Green’s previous lawyers, Elwell, Swecker and other figures in the case with the goal of questioning them under oath next year.
“At some point it will all come to an end, hopefully,” Britt said.