By Elaine Hegwood Bowen, M.S.J.
IMDb TV recently announced the April 2 premiere date for the original true-crime docu-series “Moment of Truth,” directed by Matthew Perniciaro and Clay Johnson. “Moment of Truth” tells the never-before-seen story behind the 1993 murder of beloved husband and father, James Jordan, in Robeson County, North Carolina, where two teenagers, Larry Demery and Daniel Green, were charged and convicted of the crime. All episodes of “Moment of Truth” will premiere on Friday, April 2, exclusively on IMDb TV, Amazon’s premium free streaming service.
The five-part series analyzes and presents new compelling information about just what happened to the father of NBA superstar Michael Jordan. The crime shocked the nation, creating a media frenzy and countless speculations and conspiracy theories.
Using exclusive archival footage and first-person interviews, “Moment of Truth” examines all aspects of the case – from the initial crime, to the arrest, trial and conviction of Demery and Green, and continuing to the current day appeal by Green, who maintains his innocence nearly three decades later. “Moment of Truth” also delves into the checkered past of Robeson County, including law enforcement corruption exposed in “Operation Tarnished Badge” that resulted in the conviction of 22 deputies from the local sheriff’s office in 2002.
There is so much going on in this series. The county in which James Jordan found himself in July of 1993 and subsequently murdered was beset by corruption within the criminal justice system. The town of Lumberton, North Carolina, is parts white, Native American and Black; and that’s about the way the pecking order goes, with Blacks at the bottom of the totem pole, so to speak.
But for some benevolent reason, Demery and Green became friends in grade school, when Green was bussed across town to the white school. Demery (who is Native American) and Green were inseparable. At some point, they parted ways, Demery became an alleged drug dealer and Green served some time for assault against someone that was purely an act of self-defense. But Blacks in that town never received much justice or fair treatment.
Green has spent nearly 30 years trying to prove his innocence, after a trial in which he was under the impression that he and Demery would stick to the same story in court—that they didn’t know anything about the murder, the theft of James Jordan’s red Lexus and Michael’s jewelry and watch.
But Demery betrayed his lifelong friend and they both served time. He is scheduled to be paroled in Aug 2023 if he meets the conditions for release. Later he admitted that he didn’t see Green shoot James Jordan, as was his testimony at trial. Green is still awaiting parole.
Many theories were thrown about after James Jordan was murdered: maybe something tied to Michael’s gambling bets and/or some thoughts of just why Mr. Jordan was travelling that particular stretch of road? But it was reported that he was returning from a funeral.
The series includes on-camera interviews with Green and his lawyer, Christine Mumma, executive director of the North Carolina Center on Actual Innocence. Green has worked just as hard as Mumma, even though he has been incarcerated. His post-conviction efforts have involved years of appeals and multiple, detailed motions that recently culminated with a North Carolina Superior Court judge denying Green an opportunity to present his evidence of innocence. That decision is currently being appealed.
Jordan briefly retired from basketball after his father’s death, and he hasn’t spoken much about that time; he’s not featured in this series. It was a crime of greed, as the Lexus was the prime target. At the end of the day, it’s terribly sad that his father was murdered—no matter what the circumstances of who in the end was held responsible.
To watch trailer, search [https://tinyurl.com/wx7a53cr].
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