LUMBERTON, NC (WMBF) - A new discovery hearing has been scheduled for Daniel Green, the man who maintains his innocence in the murder of James Jordan, the father of basketball great Michael Jordan.
Attorneys for Green, who was convicted in 1996 for the murder of Jordan in 1993, will seek to obtain evidence in the custody of the state of North Carolina.
There is a 250-page motion that lays out the civil rights violations the defense believes are involved in the case. In February 2009, Green was assigned new representation to take over.
In an effort to prove his innocence, Green and his attorneys have filed a motion for appropriate relief and are seeking more evidence from the state.
During a Friday hearing before Judge Michael Beale, the defense argued local law enforcement corruption at the time prevented a fair investigation. The attorneys said the Robeson County Sheriff at the time, Hubert Stone, had an illegitimate son, Hubert Larry Deese, who was a known drug trafficker.
The attorneys believed the sheriff's office hid drug investigations between both, and argued Deese was more involved with James Jordan's murder, while Green was not.
Beale asked for another hearing date next month and requested the state hand over all drug activity reported from Sheriff Hubert Stone while he was in office and all interviews and statements from co-defendants and the state's chief witness during the 1996 trial.
That witness was Larry Demery, who testified that Jordan's death was the result of a drug deal gone bad.
"We're just excited to be back in court," said Scott Holmes, Green's defense attorney. "It's been a long time since the court has heard anything on this matter and we are hoping we can get before the court on the issues that we raised in our pleading. So we are very pleased with the hearing today and look forward to getting back to court on Dec. 9."
The judge asked the defense to bring all affidavits of the interviews contained in his motion to the next hearing.
There were three people at the hearing to see and support Green - a friend, niece and a half brother.
Rick Persons said he got involved with the investigation in 2009. A lot of his findings didn't make sense to him. so he reached out to the incarcerated Green.
"I had given him my address and we started writing back and forth and he wrote some of the most incredible letters," Persons said. "You would not believe the intelligence that this man has, especially the way he's been portrayed in the media as this thug who killed the father of Michael Jordan."
Person added he understands defendants have to go through the legal process, and that constituted the majority of what he and Green would discuss.
"He (Green) said he filed his own motion in 2000, but he sat in prison with no representation," Persons said. "He would write 18 pages front and back and write back and forth. Well, then we had access to telephones and he started calling and we talk almost every day on the telephone."
As for Persons, he believes in time and that Green will eventually be exonerated.
"It will happen; there's no question," he said. "You can never get those 23 years back, but it will happen that one day Daniel will become free."
The next hearing is Dec. 9 at the Robeson County Courthouse. Beale said it is not mandatory for Green to be there, but his attorney said he thinks it is best if the defendant is present.