Judge finds AT murder suspect ‘not competent’ to stand trial

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UPDATE (12:00p.m.)- A federal judge has determined that Appalachian Trail murder suspect James Jordan is not competent to stand trial.

That ruling came out of a federal courtroom in Abingdon Wednesday morning after Jordan underwent psychological evaluations.

The attorneys for neither Jordan nor the federal government requested additional evaluation or evidence, agreeing the local evaluation report was sufficient.

According to federal magistrate judge Pamela Sargent, Jordan will be transferred to a “federal medical facility in an attempt to restore him to competence.”

It was requested by the judge that Jordan be transferred to Buckner Medical Center in Dallas, Texas.

There have been no dates given of when that transfer will take place.


ABINGDON, Va. (WJHL) — The man accused of killing one hiker and seriously injuring another on the Appalachian Trail in Wythe County, Va. is scheduled for a competency hearing Wednesday.

PREVIOUS STORY: Court documents reveal what happened leading up to AT murder

James Jordan, 30, of West Yarmouth, Massachusetts, will appear in federal court in Abingdon, Virginia for the competency hearing at 11:30 a.m.

Jordan was arrested on May 11, 2019.

He 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.

Jordan was found with blood stains on his clothing at the site of the attack in Wythe County.

He had been previously charged with threatening people on Appalachian Trail in Unicoi County in April.

A News Channel 11 crew will be at the federal courthouse for the hearing. This story will be updated with the results of the hearing.

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