One of the two men serving life in prison for killing Michael Jordan’s father in 1993 will be released from a North Carolina prison, according to the Charlotte News and Observer.
Larry Demery was sentenced in 1996 for killing James Jordan along with his former classmate Daniel Green. He was approved for the Mutual Agreement Parole Program, a vocational and scholastic program, per the report. Demery is scheduled to be released on Aug. 6, 2023.
Convicts serving life sentences for murder aren’t eligible for parole anymore in North Carolina, per the News and Observer, unless their crimes were committed before Oct. 1, 1994.
Demery pled guilty to killing Jordan’s father
James was killed on July 23, 1993 — shortly after Jordan won his third title with the Chicago Bulls — when he was sleeping in his car in rural North Carolina. His body was found 11 days later in a South Carolina swamp, something Demery testified that he helped Green do after he said he saw Green shoot James. Prosecutors said that they killed him at random during a robbery, not because he was Jordan’s father.
The two were 18 at the time. Demery was sentenced to life plus 40 years after pleading guilty to first-degree murder, armed robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery, though was resentenced in 2008 after an error was found in his initial sentencing, per the Associated Press — which is partly why he is now eligible for parole.
Green has long proclaimed his innocence, though a judge rejected his efforts for a new trial last year, per the report. He was also sentenced to life in prison plus 10 years. He had said, per the report, that Demery mistook James for a drug connection and shot him after an altercation.
Jordan’s team declined to comment to both the News and Observer and the Associated Press. His dad’s death — and the wild conspiracy theories regarding the circumstances of his death and abrupt departure from the league to play baseball that followed months later — was featured in the 10-part documentary “The Last Dance” earlier this year.
"It did hurt," Jordan said of the theories in the documentary, via Newsweek. "But you had people that were throwing darts who wanted to hurt me anyway. It wasn't from the people that I loved or the people that knew me and people that cared. It was people that got tired of me being on top.
"I didn't retire because the league kicked me out or they suspended me for a year and a half. That is not true. There's no truth to that. I needed a break. My father just passed. And I retired. And I retired with the notion that I wasn't going to come back."
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