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Larry Demery, convicted in James Jordan murder, to be paroled in 2023

The state’s Post-Release Supervision and Parole Commission said Demery would be released Aug. 6, 2023, and has been approved for a vocational and scholastic program. Convicts serving life sentences for murder in the state are not eligible for parole unless their crimes were committed before Oct. 1, 1994; Jordan was killed July 23, 1993.

The shooting of the father of one of the world’s biggest sports stars was described as a random act of violence. After attending a friend’s funeral in Wilmington, N.C., James Jordan planned to fly from Charlotte to Chicago for one of his son’s charity golf tournaments and pulled off the road for a nap, which his family said he often did. But he never showed up in Chicago and was missing for three weeks until his red Lexus was found with its license plate missing and windows smashed in a wooded area near Fayetteville, N.C.

His badly decomposed body was found in a swamp in McColl, S.C., three weeks later, and Demery, 17 at the time, and Green, then 18, were charged with robbery and murder.

Demery testified that Green approached the Lexus with the intent of robbing Jordan at gunpoint and shot Jordan as he awoke as Demery stood nearby. Green’s story differed. In a 2018 interview with the Chicago Tribune, Green said both had been attending a party the night before the murder and that Demery left early. When he returned, he told Green that he had shot a man off a highway and sought his help in disposing of the body. Green denied being present for the shooting.

Green also was convicted of first-degree murder and was given a life sentence. His request for a hearing and new trial were rejected last year by a North Carolina judge. Christine Mumma, the director of the N.C. Center on Actual Innocence and Green’s attorney, told the Charlotte Observer that their effort is continuing. Green will be considered for parole next year.

Jordan retired for the first time months after his father’s murder, only to come back late in the 1994-95 season. In one of the most emotional moments of the series, Jordan is shown sprawled on the floor of the locker room in 1996, sobbing after the Bulls won their first title since his father’s murder.

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