RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA — One of two men convicted in the 1993 murder of James Jordan Sr., the father of NBA superstar Michael Jordan, has been granted parole, thanks to a 2008 resentencing that left him eligible for release.
The North Carolina Post-Release Supervision and Parole Commission said Larry Demery will be released in August 2023.
Demery, now 45, was 18 years old when he and Daniel Andre Green shot and killed Jordan Sr. in what they claimed was a botched attempt to steal his car.
Jordan Sr., 56, was on his way home from a funeral on July 23, 1993, when he reportedly pulled over to sleep on U.S. Highway 74 near. Prosecutors said the crime unfolded after Demery and Green spotted Jordan Sr.’s red .
The pair fatally shot Jordan Sr. and dumped his body in a swamp. They also stole items found inside the Lexus, including two NBA championship rings. Demery and Green were caught after using Jordan’s cell phone to make multiple calls.
Jordan Sr.’s body was discovered on Aug. 3, 1993, but was not identified until 10 days later. His murder prompted son Michael, who was fresh off the Chicago Bulls’ first “three-peat” win, to announce his retirement the following October. Michael Jordan went on to return to the Bulls in March 1995 after a brief stint in Major League Baseball.
Demery, who pleaded guilty to first-degree murder, armed robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery, was sentenced to life plus 40 years in 1996. He was resentenced in 2008 after it was determined an error was made in his initial sentencing, according to the Associated Press.
Green, who was also 18 at the time of the killing, did not testify. Demery accused him of being the one to pull the trigger, claiming the plan was only to tie Jordan Sr. up and steal his car, and that Green shot Jordan for no reason.
Green unsuccessfully sought a new trial in 2017 and has long proclaimed his innocence, claiming Demery was the one who shot Jordan Sr. and that he wasn’t even there at the time of the murder.
In an interview with NBC in 2018, Green admitted to helping Demery dispose of Jordan’s body and taking jewelry that was in the vehicle, but denied he was involved in the killing and said he did not know who the victim was. He claimed Demery misled him into believing he had shot a drug dealer during an “altercation,” not an innocent man sleeping in his car.
“I think they should look at the evidence,” Green told the outlet. “If you look at the evidence, the evidence is going to speak for itself — that there is no evidence that I killed James Jordan, because I didn’t.”