THE VIRGINIAN-PILOT Copyright (c) 1994, Landmark Communications, Inc. DATE: Saturday, August 6, 1994 TAG: 9408060197 SECTION: LOCAL PAGE: B3 EDITION: NORTH CAROLINA SOURCE: ASSOCIATED PRESS DATELINE: LUMBERTON LENGTH: Short : 45 lines
The lawyers for one of the two men charged in the slaying of James Jordan are asking a court to strike the death penalty as a potential sentence on constitutional grounds.
The motions were filed in Robeson County Superior Court by lawyers Hugh Rogers and John Campbell. One of them says the state should not be allowed to seek the death penalty because it violates the 8th and 14th amendments.
The 8th Amendment prohibits cruel and unusual punishment, and the 14th Amendment requires states to protect rights guaranteed in the federal Constitution.
District Attorney Richard Townsend has said he will seek the death penalty against Larry Martin Demery and Daniel Andre Green.
Demery and Green are charged with first-degree murder and armed robbery in Jordan's slaying on July 23, 1993.
Law enforcement officials believe Demery and Green shot the athlete's father while he napped in his car on the side of U.S. 74. Both men have said they are innocent, but neither has entered a formal plea.
Another motion filed by Demery's attorney Thursday asked the state to hire a firearms expert to inspect two guns, bullets fired from the guns and the bullet recovered from Jordan's body.
One of the guns, a .38-caliber pistol, is the one investigators believe was used to shoot Jordan in the chest. Law officers say they found the gun buried in Green's back yard. The other gun is a .32-caliber pistol.
Last week, lawyers for Green said tests by the State Bureau of Investigation strongly suggest that the gun police recovered did not fire the bullet found in the body believed to be Jordan's.
The motions mark the second time in the past week that court papers have been filed by lawyers for defendants in the yearlong case.
Motions filed by Angus Thompson and Woodberry Bowen suggest that Jordan may have faked his death to escape shaky business dealings, gambling debts and an embarrassing paternity suit. by CNB