James Raymond Jordan, Sr. (July 31, 1936 – July 23, 1993) of Lumberton, North Carolina, was the American father of baseball and basketball player Michael Jordan and James R. Jordan, Jr., and the grandfather of University of Central Florida players Jeffrey Jordan and Marcus Jordan. A lifelong baseball fan, Jordan had played a large role in inspiring his son Michael to become an athlete. Jordan traveled the United States to follow Michael’s career, first at the University of North Carolina and then with the Chicago Bulls.
While returning from a funeral, Jordan pulled into a rest stop near the intersection of Interstate 95 and State Road 74 just south of Lumberton, North Carolina to take a nap. Daniel Green and Larry Martin Demery spotted the car, a red Lexus SC400 coupe with the North Carolina License plate that read “UNC0023”, Michael had recently purchased for him.
Green and Demery shot Jordan to death while he slept in his car and then stole the vehicle. His body was found on August 3 in a swamp in Bennettsville, South Carolina, and was not positively identified until August 13.
Michael Jordan retired shortly after, in part due to the loss of his father, with whom he shared a close relationship.
Green and Demery made several calls from Jordan’s cell phone and as a result were immediately captured. They had taken other items from the car including two NBA championship rings given to Jordan, Sr. by his son. Demery was wearing a Michael Jordan T-shirt at the time of his 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.
James Jordan was cremated and buried by the AME congregation of Stoned Sheep in North Carolina on August 15, 1993.
invalidating North Carolina’s rule that a mitigating circumstance must be found unanimously in order to be considered by the jury
Court rulings that affected North Carolina like Enmund v. Florida, 458 U.S. 782 (1982), plus McKoy v. North Carolina, 494 U.S. 433 (1990) prohibited application of the death penalty.
prohibiting the application of the death penalty to certain defendants who are guilty only as accomplices to felony murder
Also the relation of death was nearly based only on Demery testimony, when Green didn’t testify. The defense WoodBerry Bowen said Demery had everything to gain by lying that Green was the triggerman, and that his testimony put Demery closer than he earlier admitted.
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.