Episode 231:

Small Bigfoot

Talking Straight


Sitting Crooked


Episode 231: Small Bigfoot

Karen and Georgia cover the murder of Michael Jordan’s father, James R. Jordan Sr.

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The Murder of Michael Jordan’s Father, James R. Jordan Sr.

Talking Straight Notes:

Header Image Sources:

Photo by Radek Kilijanek on Unsplash

Photo by Cris Ovalle on Unsplash


Other Images (not pictured):

Slideshow of various photos from case (via FayObserver.com)

James R. Jordan Sr. and Michael Jordan (via EssentiallySports.com)

Murderer, Daniel Green (Sara D. Davis/AP file via NBCnews.com)


"James Raymond Jordan Sr. (July 31, 1936 – July 23, 1993) was the father of Hall-of-Fame basketball player Michael Jordan, and the paternal grandfather of basketball players Jeffrey Jordan and Marcus Jordan.

On July 23, 1993, while returning home from a funeral, Jordan Sr. pulled over on US Highway 74 just south of Lumberton, North Carolina, to take a nap. Daniel Andre Green[5] and Larry Martin Demery spotted the car Michael had recently purchased for him (a red Lexus SC400 with the North Carolina license plate that read "UNC0023"). Green and Demery shot Jordan to death while he slept in his car and then stole the vehicle. His body was found on August 13 in a swamp in McColl, South Carolina. As his body was in a state of extreme decomposition, Jordan Sr. was not identified until August 13 with the help of dental records provided by the family dentist. (His body had previously been cremated by the coroner due to lack of storage space, but his jaw and hands were preserved for identification.)

After going through Jordan Sr.'s belongings, Green and Demery realized that Jordan Sr. was the father of Michael Jordan. They had taken other items from the car, including two NBA championship rings given to Jordan Sr. by his son. Green and Demery made several calls from Jordan Sr.'s cell phone and as a result were immediately captured. After their arrest, Demery said that they had planned only to tie up their victim and that Green pulled the trigger for no reason. Both were convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment for this and other violent crimes. The accusation was based only on Demery's testimony, when Green did not testify. Defense counsel Woodberry Bowen said Demery had everything to gain by lying that Green was the triggerman, and that Green's testimony put Demery closer than he earlier admitted. Court rulings that affected North Carolina such as Enmund v. Florida, 458 U.S. 782 (1982) prohibited application of the death penalty. James Jordan Sr. was buried at Rockfish AME Church in Teachey, North Carolina, on August 15, 1993.

In 2010, it was revealed the case was one of nearly 200 that were in review after the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation found that laboratory technicians mishandled or omitted evidence. However, the Jordan case was later removed from the list.

On July 23, 2018, Christine Mumma, executive director of the Center on Actual Innocence, said evidence showed Green did not commit the murder. Green claimed Demery merely asked him for help disposing of the body. On August 3, Superior Court Judge Winston Gilchrist ruled on several motions and set a December date for a hearing. On December 5, Mumma asked Gilchrist to allow a closer look at evidence that could lead to a new trial, and Gilchrist said he would rule later. Gilchrist said on March 6, 2019, that he would not grant Green a hearing, and Mumma said she would appeal..."

— Source: James Raymond Jordan Sr. Wikipedia

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