UPDATE: Suspected Appalachian Trail murderer not pursuing insanity defense
UPDATE: The suspect arrested for a killing on the Appalachian Trail is making it clear he is not pursuing an insanity defense.
In his initial appearance in federal court in Abingdon this week, the judge ordered James Jordan to undergo an evaluation to determine his mental competency to stand trial.
The judge also included in an order that he should be evaluated to determine sanity and has given the defense seven days to arrange a local competency exam.
Jordan is charged in the death of Oklahoma resident Ronald Sanchez, Jr. along a Wythe County, Virginia portion of the trail.
A status update in his case is scheduled for Tuesday in US District Court in Abingdon.
PREVIOUS STORY: Moments before a fatal machete attack on the Appalachian Trail in Virginia, James L. Jordan threatened he'd burn some of the same victims to death in their tents, court records state.
"Jordan began randomly approaching the hikers' tents, making noises and threatening the hikers," a newly filed federal affidavit states. "Jordan spoke to the hikers through their tents and threatened to pour gasoline on their tents and burn them to death."
He'd menaced the same four people earlier that day on another part of the trail in Virginia, according to court records.
Jordan, 30, of West Yarmouth, Mass., is the same man who last month threatened hikers on part of the Appalachian Trail in Unicoi County, Tennessee, southeast of this weekend's attack.
Jordan appeared Monday morning in U.S. District Court in Abingdon, Virginia. He'll be evaluated by a psychiatric team, WCYB-TV reported
He's being held in jail on a federal count of assault with intent to commit murder on the federal trail.
Federal authorities allege Jordan on Friday confronted four hikers on the AT in Smyth County, Virginia within the George Washington and Thomas Jefferson National Forest. Names of the hikers have not been released.
They knew about him through social media and were aware of an incident the month before in Unicoi County in which he'd threatened hikers, according to the federal affidavit from FBI Special Agent Micah Childers. They had a photo of him on their cellphone.
"When Jordan approached the four hikers he was acting disturbed and unstable, and was playing his guitar and singing," the affidavit states.
Read more at WBIR's website.
PREVIOUS STORY: According to the United States Department of Justice, the recent attack on the Appalachian Trail has turned deadly.
Officials say one man was killed and another woman was severely injured after 30-year-old James Jordan attacked them with a machete.
Jordan has been arrested and charged with one count of murder within the special maritime territorial jurisdiction of the United States and one count of assault with the intent to murder within the special maritime territorial jurisdiction of the United States.
He's currently being held in the Abingdon Regional Jail.
“I commend local law enforcement in Wythe and Smyth Counties for mobilizing successful rescue and tactical operations in this remote region,” U.S. Attorney Cullen stated. “Thanks to their efforts, the suspect was safely apprehended and a seriously wounded victim received critical medical care. We will continue to work with our state and local partners to bring the perpetrator of this senseless and brutal attack to justice.”
This investigation is ongoing. The federal charges against Jordan will be officially filed in U.S. District Court in Abingdon Monday morning. The defendant will have an initial court appearance in federal court in Abingdon on Monday, May 13, 2019.