In 1993, the killing of Michael Jordan’s father shook the sports world. Now nearly twenty years after being convicted, Daniel Andre Green is seeking a new trial.
Scott Holmes, a defense lawyer and director of the N.C. Central University Civil Litigation Law Clinic, and Ian Mance, an attorney with the Southern Coalition for Social Justice, have raised questions in recent years about blood evidence in the case.
In 2010, a former FBI agent released the results of his outside review of thousands of cases handled by the SBI crime lab, showing that Green’s case was initially highlighted as one of some 200 mishandled during a 16-year period. The review found that analysts omitted, overstated or falsely reported information about blood evidence in those cases.
In the 250-page request for appropriate relief filed in Robeson County Superior Court on Wednesday, Green’s attorneys contend that Jennifer Elwell, an analyst whose work was called into question, testified that blood was found on the seat of James Jordan’s car. The trial attorneys never received the results from four follow-up tests that countered those claims.
“The blood evidence was critical to securing Mr. Green’s conviction because it was the only physical evidence supporting Larry Demery’s version of events,” Mance, the attorney, said in a statement.
Judge Gregory Weeks, the trial judge, provided the attorneys with a sworn statement saying that if Elwell had changed her conclusion about the substance found in the Lexus, that “would constitute false and misleading testimony on a material fact.”
The testimony about blood, the defense attorneys contend, was crucial: without blood, prosecutors had no other physical evidence to bolster Demery’s claims.
The request for a new trial also states that Robeson County deputies seized James Jordan’s cellphone, but never questioned a man who was called from that number after Jordan’s death. The man called was the son of then-Sheriff Hubert Stone, a friend of the lead investigator and one of Demery’ co-workers, the defense attorneys contend.
“The discovery of the call from Jordan’s car phone to a convicted drug trafficker with close ties to the sheriff’s department casts a whole new light on this case and undermines confidence in the verdict,” Holmes said in a statement.