One of the men who was convicted of killing Michael Jordan's father has been granted parole.
On Tuesday, the North Carolina Post-Release Supervision and Parole Commission announced Larry Demery is set to be released from prison on Aug. 6, 2023—more than 30 years after James Raymond Jordan was murdered. WSOCTV reports the decision to release Demery was made through the Mutual Agreement Parole Program, a vocational and scholastic program.
Demery and Daniel Green were convicted of murdering James R. Jordan on July 23, 1993, as he was returning home from a funeral in North Carolina. His body was discovered with a bullet wound in the chest 11 days later.
Green and Demery—who were 18 and 17, respectively, at the time—were arrested the same day Jordan was laid to rest. They were each charged with first-degree murder and robbery. Authorities initially classified the murder as a random act of violence; however, Green claimed Demery had mistakenly identified Jordan as a drug connection. Demery pleaded guilty to the fatal shooting in 1995; Green has maintained his innocence, admitting he helped Demery dump Jordan's body, but was not present at the time of murder.
Demery was denied parole in two previous hearings. Green reportedly won't be eligible for parole until October of next year.
About two months after the murder, Michael Jordan announced he was retiring from the NBA for the first time. He confirmed the tragic loss was a big factor in his decision.
"It made me realize how short life is, how quickly things can end, how innocently," Jordan said during a '93 press conference, as reported by the New York Times. "And I thought that there are times in one's life when you have to put games aside. I wanted to give more time to my family. I’ve been very selfish about centering things on my basketball career. Now it’s time to be unselfish with them."