The man convicted of pulling the trigger that killed Michael Jordan's father has presented new evidence to a judge in order to prove his innocence.
Back in July 1993, the body of James Jordan was found in a South Carolina swamp 11 days after he was killed. Daniel Green, who was 18 at the time of the killing, was convicted of first-degree murder. His friend, Larry Demery, testified that Green pulled the trigger and killed Jordan in a botched robbery.
Although both are serving life sentences for the killing, Green, who is now 41, swears he is innocent.
"I had nothing to do with this man losing his life, period. I wasn't connected to the murder. I came in after he was already dead. ... The way I look at it is: I denied his family the right to a proper burial because of what I did," Daniel Green said last week in an interview at the Lumberton Correctional Institution in Robeson County, reported the Associated Press.
On Wednesday, Green and his defense attorney, Chris Mumma, argued with prosecutors from the state attorneys general office about whether he deserves an evidentiary hearing, which would be the only way he could get a new trial.
The state Court of Appeals upheld his conviction in 1996, along with the state Supreme Court in 1999.
After the killing, Green was seen in a music video wearing the NBA All-Star ring and gold watch that Michael Jordan gave to his father. Green admitted to taking the jewelry while he helped get rid of the body.
Much of Green’s defense lies on witnesses who say they saw him at a family cookout at the time Jordan was killed. Green’s attorney also pointed out issues dealing with blood-evidence testimony, the handling of Jordan's shirt, and ineffective trial and appellate counsel.
According to Green, Demery left the cookout alone to meet someone for a drug deal. Hours later, Green said, Demery returned and told him he mistook Jordan for his drug connection. He said Demery told him the two had an altercation and Demery killed Jordan.
Attorney Hugh Rogers, who represented Demery, said no physical evidence tied either man to the shooting.
"It became 'he said, he said,'" Rogers said. "I guess looking at the various versions each one gave, once Larry got to his ultimate version, there was more corroboration there than there was to Daniel's ultimate version."
Superior Court Judge Winston Gilchrist says he needs more time to consider whether Green can proceed with arguments.
(Photos from left: NBC Chicago, Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
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