NBA

When Did the Killers Realize It Was Michael Jordan’s Father They Murdered?

Although there still remains a question of who actually pulled the trigger, one thing is certain. The father of Chicago Bulls star Michael Jordan was murdered in 1993. Daniel Green and Larry Demery are both serving life sentences for the murder of James Jordan. Just how James Jordan died is still in question and testimony has shown he wasn’t targeted. He was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.

The death of James Jordan

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On July, 22, 1993, James Jordan, the father of NBA star Michael Jordan, went to a funeral for a co-worker and later spent the day with friends. He had nearly a four-hour ride home to Charlotte, North Carolina, and he pulled over to the side of the road to get some rest. The rest of the story is unclear, but what is clear is that James Jordan was killed there.

Whether it was Daniel Green or Larry Demery who pulled the trigger is the big question. In either case, James Jordan was murdered and his body was disposed and found several weeks later. According to The Chicago Tribune, Robeson County District Atty. Johnson Britt said James Jordan was a victim of “a random act of violence” by two local men who “conspired to commit armed robbery.”

The two men had intended to rob a tourist at a local motel but were unsuccessful. Then Green and Demery saw James Jordan’s Lexus along the road. They headed over to the vehicle with Jordan asleep.

Two sides to the story

Daniel Green was 18 and Larry Demery was 17 at the time of James Jordan’s death. Both of them had criminal records. Demery tells one side of the story and Green has another. Demery’s version, according to The New York Times, is that Green walked up to the Lexus with the intent of robbing the driver. When the driver began to wake up, Green shot him.

Green, however, tells a much different version. He said he wasn’t even present when the shooting began. Green said the night before Jordan was killed, he and Demery were at a party and Demery left, only to return shaken up. He said he had shot a man and needed some help getting rid of the body. Green helped his friend but insisted he was not there for the shooting.

According to The Chicago Tribune, Green panicked and helped a friend instead of listening to his conscience. “I just didn’t know how to listen to my conscience back then,” Green said. “I didn’t recognize that voice. …and I guess (it was) maybe the mentality of saying, ‘OK, this is my dude. I’m a real man. Like, I’m a real man because my friend needed me and I was there for my friend.’”

How long did it take before they knew it was Michael Jordan’s dad?

Despite the dispute of whether Larry Demery or Daniel Green pulled the trigger, they both agreed they were there when it was time to dispose of the body. James Jordan’s body wasn’t found until August. His body was found by a fisherman roughly 60 miles from where the Lexus was found. Jordan’s body was badly decomposed with a gunshot through the chest, according to The New York Times.

According to The Chicago Tribune, neither Green nor Demery knew who the victim was who lay dead in the passenger seat of the car they just stole. They pulled over about 30 minutes after they shot Jordan and went through the glove compartment to scour personal belongings Robeson County District Atty. Johnson Britt said.

Green then pulled out the dead man’s wallet, took out his driver’s license, and said to Demery, “I believe we killed Michael Jordan’s dad.” Then they drove just over the South Carolina border and dumped the body into a swamp.