Contact: Joyce Fitzpatrick
For Immediate Release
Daniel Green Files Motion for New Trial
COMPELLING NEW EVIDENCE RAISES SIGNIFICANT QUESTIONS ABOUT LUMBERTON
MAN’S MURDER CONVICTION IN THE 1993 KILLING OF MICHAEL JORDAN’S FATHER
April 1, 2015
DURHAM, NC (March 31, 2015) – Daniel Green, one of two men currently imprisoned for the murder of James Jordan in 1993, filed a motion for a new trial Wednesday in Superior Court in Lumberton, North Carolina. Attorneys for the Southern Coalition for Social Justice filed a motion that details a wide range of issues – from false testimony to police corruption to juror misconduct – that contributed to his conviction and warrant a new trial. The issues include:
- False Testimony: SBI Agent Jennifer Elwell was a key prosecution witness who testified that she found blood in Mr. Jordan’s Lexus. She later admitted that she did not know what the substance was. Following the Green trial, Agent Elwell was found to have lied in other murder cases and was suspended from the SBI.
- Withholding Information: A 2010 audit of the SBI revealed additional blood testing that was highly favorable to the defense and suggested that the microscopic substance found in the vehicle was not blood. This information was never shared with the defense. Judge Gregory Weeks, who presided over the trial, has stated in a sworn affidavit that the exculpatory blood tests were material evidence and withholding the information was a violation of his order. Shortly after Green’s conviction, the blood evidence was destroyed without proper notice.
- Police Corruption: Robeson County Sheriff Hubert Stone and other law enforcement officers repeatedly pointed to Mr. Jordan’s cell phone records as the most importance piece of evidence that led police to Green and Larry Demery. One of the first calls made from James Jordan’s cell phone following the murder was to Hubert Deese, a convicted cocaine trafficker. New evidence reveals that Deese is the biological son of Sheriff Stone, was a long-time friend of lead detective Mark Locklear, and was an associate of Larry Demery. The two men worked together less than a mile from where Mr. Jordan’s body was discovered. Despite the call from Jordan’s phone to Deese, police never questioned him during the investigation.
- Secret Plea Deal: Larry Demery, a co-defendant in the murder of Mr. Jordan, was the prosecution’s star witness against Green. New evidence indicates that District Attorney Johnson Britt made a secret plea arrangement with Demery that allows him to be eligible for parole in 2015. The plea agreement was not disclosed to the defense, in violation of the law.
- Juror Misconduct: During jury selection, the prosecution failed to read a list of potential witnesses to James Cassidy, who would go on to serve on the jury. Mr. Cassidy had been accused of sexual misconduct by two of Green’s alibi witnesses, allegations that would have prevented him from serving on the jury. Furthermore, Mr. Cassidy has admitted that he watched media coverage of the trial and discussed the case with people outside of the court during the trial, in violation of the court’s instructions.
- Unreliable Witnesses: One of the prosecution’s main witnesses was Clewis Demory, an elderly man who identified Green as having robbed him and shot him. In a newly discovered interview, Demory is quoted as saying that all black people look alike and he didn’t know who robbed him.
Green is represented by attorneys Ian A. Mance of the Southern Coalition for Social Justice, and Scott Holmes, a Professor at the North Carolina Central School of Law. Green, 44, admitted that he helped dispose of Mr. Jordan’s body following the murder and has acknowledged that he had possession of property that was stolen from the victim.
“The Judge who sentenced Mr. Green to life in prison has filed an affidavit with today’s motion stating that if Agent Elwell has changed her opinion about the substance found in the Lexus, then her testimony at trial would constitute false and misleading testimony on a material fact,” said Ian A. Mance, one of Green’s attorneys. “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.”
“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,” said attorney Scott Holmes.
Following a response from the State of North Carolina, an evidentiary hearing on the motion will be scheduled. You may view the motion here.
Exhibit 27 – Ian Mance Affidavit
Exhibit 100 – Judge Gregory Weeks Affidavit