LUMBERTON, N.C. -- A sentencing mistake is keeping one of the two men convicted of killing Michael Jordan's father from seeking parole, an attorney said Monday.
Larry Martin Demery, 32, was sentenced to life in prison in the July 1993 shooting death of James Jordan, who was sleeping in his car beside a highway when he was killed in Robeson County. Demery also was sentenced to 40 years for a pair of robberies earlier in the month.
Attorney Hugh Rogers said the sentences were to be served concurrently, but the state Department of Correction has incorrectly recorded them as consecutive sentences.
If the sentences were served concurrently, Demery could seek parole after 20 years in prison, Rogers said. Demery was arrested in 1993 and pleaded guilty in 1995 to first-degree murder.
"Case law now says the remedy is to withdraw the guilty plea and renegotiate a new sentence or have a new trial," Rogers said Monday. "We're not looking for trials, but hopefully we can set aside the convictions, enter a new plea and we'll be looking at one life sentence."
Robeson County District Attorney Johnson Britt agreed with Rogers. Under the plea agreement, which included all of his convictions, Demery was to serve a life sentence, Britt said.
"He's basically asking for the benefit of his bargain," said Britt, agreeing that the procedure involves Demery withdrawing his guilty pleas and asking for a new sentence.
A hearing is set for next week to address the matter, he said.
Also convicted in James Jordan's murder was Daniel Andre Green, 33, who was sentenced to life behind bars for the death. Demery testified that Green pulled the trigger.
Britt said the situation means Demery would serve more time than Green for the murder of James Jordan, whose body was dumped in a South Carolina swamp.