Did Michael Jordan's father fake his own death? That's exactly what happened, according to the lawyer for one of two youths charged with murdering James Jordan. He reportedly died last July while he slept in a car parked alongside a North Carolina highway. Court papers the defense filed today in Robeson County, North Carolina, assert that Jordan staged the death to avoid huge gambling and business debts, as well as a threatened paternity suit in Illinois.Sources close to the case tell TIME reporter Lisa Towle that the defense has evidence that no blood was found in the car. Furthermore, the defense claims it has been denied dental records that police say prove a corpse found in a South Carolina swamp was really the elder Jordan. On top of that, Towle says, the flamboyant defense attorney and his team have a reputation for creating confusion: "I don't think they expect anyone to buy this lock, stock and barrel, but this gives them that wedge of doubt."