ABINGDON — A Massachusetts man accused of fatally stabbing a hiker on the Appalachian Trial in Southwest Virginia is not mentally fit to stand trial, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.
James L. Jordan, 30, of West Yarmouth, Mass., was charged with murder and assault with intent to commit murder in the knife attack on two hikers May 11.
Ronald Sanchez Jr., 43, of Oklahama died after being stabbed repeatedly, and a female hiker was seriously hurt. Authorities have not identified the woman.
An FBI agent wrote in an affidavit filed in court that Jordan was acting in a “disturbed and unstable” manner when he initially approached four hikers along the trail.
“Jordan spoke to the hikers through their tents, and threatened to pour gasoline on their tents and burn them to death,” FBI Special Agent Micah Childers wrote.
All four hikers were afraid of Jordan and packed up to leave their campsite. Two of them escaped, but Jordan caught Sanchez and stabbed him until he collapsed and then stabbed the woman repeatedly, Childers wrote.
During a brief hearing in U.S. District Court in Abingdon, Magistrate Judge Pamela Meade Sargent found that Jordan is mentally incompetent. She ordered him to be sent to a federal facility to be rehabilitated until he is competent to stand trial.