by Danielle Sanders, Chicago Defender Interim Managing Editor
“Moment of Truth,” the new IMDb TV docuseries premiered on April 2. The five-part series examines the horrific 1993 murder of James Jordan. The senseless murder and subsequent trial sparked a media frenzy combined with speculation and conspiracy theories that linger today. Almost 30 years since the tragic death of Michael Jordan‘s father, “Moment of Truth” looks at the Jordan murder and the arrest, trial, and conviction of former childhood friends, Larry Demery and Daniel Green. Through archival never-released footage, court documents, evidence photos, and unreleased trial evidence, “Moment of Truth” raises questions about who killed James Jordan on that fateful night in North Carolina.
Daniel Green, one of the defendants convicted of the murder, continues to maintain his innocence. With this lawyer, Christine Mumma, they continue to file multiple motions and requests for appeal. “Moment of Truth” interviews Daniel Green about his involvement in the crime. In his own words, Green talks about the murder, trial, and his life post-conviction. Green asserts that he was not there the night of the murder. He claims he did not kill James Jordan but was an accessory after the fact. In a plea deal, Larry Demery testified against Green. Demery testified that they were going to tie up Jordan and steal his car. Demery then asserts that Green shot and killed him. Both men were convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison. Last year, Demery was granted parole and is scheduled to be released as early as 2023. It was his testimony that helped convict Green. Daniel Green repeatedly denies he shot and killed James Jordan.
“Moment of Truth” presents compelling new evidence that raises questions about guilt or innocence. During the trial, the prosecution said James Jordan was shot through the heart at close range while sitting in his car. James Jordan’s body was found in a swamp 11 days after the murder and was cremated before his body was identified. His body so badly decomposed, he was labeled a “John Doe” by the coroner. His car was found almost 60 miles away from where his body was discovered completely stripped. However, the coroner’s report shows no exit wounds on Jordan’s body. No evidence of blood or gunshot residue was found in the car as well.
James Jordan died of a single gunshot wound to the chest that came from a 0.38 caliber gun according to the official autopsy. In the same autopsy report, the pathologist states there is no hole in the shirt James Jordan was wearing. In addition, they never found any trace of gunpowder residue on the shirt.
There was also a mysterious phone call made from James Jordan’s cellphone that was never introduced during the trial. The phone call was made to Hubert Larry Deese. Deese worked with Larry Demery less than a mile where Jordan’s body was found. Deese was a known drug trafficker who served time in prison. He is also the son of Hubert Stone, the sheriff whose office oversaw the murder investigation. Hubert Deese was never questioned by law enforcement.
The docuseries also examines the history of social injustice in Robeson County, NC. Christine Mumma, executive director of the North Carolina Center on Actual Innocence, is also Daniel Green’s attorney. In “Moment of Truth,” Mumma speaks about racial injustice in the criminal justice system, racial tensions between blacks and native Americans, and corruption within North Carolina law enforcement agencies. In 2002, “Operation Tarnished Badge” exposed rampant corruption from law enforcement resulting in the conviction of 22 deputies from the local sheriff’s office.
The Jordan family declined to be interviewed for this series. “Moment of Truth” casts reasonable doubt as to the circumstances surrounding James Jordan’s death. The docuseries pose questions that remain unanswered. Who was present that night? Who pulled the trigger? Is a man in jail for a crime he did not commit?
After watching “A Moment of Truth” one may not be so sure. Was justice truly served? Judge for yourself. “Moment of Truth” premiered Friday, April 2 on IMDb TV, a free streaming service on Amazon Prime. IMDb TV is available as an app on Fire TV and a free Channel within the Prime Video and IMDb apps across hundreds of devices. To use IMDb TV on Fire TV, customers can find the icon in the “Your Apps & Channels” row, or using the Alexa Voice Remote, simply say “Alexa, go to IMDb TV.” IMDb TV is also available on the IMDb website.
Danielle Sanders is a journalist and writer living in Chicago. Find her on social media @DanieSandersOfficial.