Court documents reveal what happened leading up to Appalachian Trail murder

James L. Jordan, accused of murdering one person and severely injuring another on the Appalachian Trail, appeared in federal court Monday morning. Courtesy: WJHL
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ABINGDON, Va. (WJHL) - The man accused of murdering one person and severely injuring another on the Appalachian Trail in Southwest Virginia appeared in federal court Monday morning.

WJHL reports  James L. Jordan, 30, of West Yarmouth, Massachusetts, was arrested in the early morning hours of Saturday, May 11, 2019, on a federal criminal complaint.

Authorities announced Jordan's arrest after a deadly stabbing incident they said occurred along the Appalachian Trail in Wythe County, Virginia.  

During the court hearing Monday, Jordan was escorted in by two U.S. Marshals.

The hearing only lasted about 15 minutes. The judge ordered Jordan to take a competency and sanity evaluation. A trial date was not set.

When Jordan asked about his dog, the judge told him the dog was taken to the Wythe County Animal Shelter. The judge said Jordan could have someone pick up the dog if he wanted.

Court documents obtained by News Channel 11 reveal more of what happened on the Appalachian Trail leading up to that murder.

Officials report that as four hikers made camp on the AT in Wythe County, "Jordan spoke to the hikers through their tents and threatened to pour gasoline on their tents and burn them to death."

Court documents also reveal that all four hikers packed up and left because they were fearful of James Jordan. The criminal complaint also revealed that as they tried to leave, Jordan approached them with a knife.

According to those documents, “Victim #2 watched as Jordan began stabbing Victim #1 in the upper part of the body. Victim #2 watched Victim #1 fall to the ground, at which point she ran."

The report showed that Jordan also stabbed Victim #2 and that "Victim #2 fell to the ground and played dead, at which point Jordan left to find his dog. Victim #2 then ran down the train towards Smyth County."

Jordan was reportedly found by officers at the campsite where the attack began in Wythe County.

Investigators reported Jordan was found with some blood stains on his clothing.

Jordan is 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.

Last month, Jordan was charged with threatening people on the Appalachian Trail in Unicoi County. Jordan was accused of threatening other hikers on the trail with an ax, according to police, and was sentenced in Unicoi County Sessions Court to probation and fines.


James L. Jordan


 
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