Court documents: Prosecutors request accused A.T. killer be taken into federal custody for mental evaluation


ABINGDON, Va. (WJHL) – Federal prosecutors have responded to the request that the man accused of fatally stabbing a man on the Appalachian Trail have a local mental evaluation.

Last week, attorneys for James Jordan, the man accused of fatally stabbing an Appalachian Trail thru-hiker to death and injuring another, notified the U.S. District Court in Abingdon of plans to use a ‘defense of insanity’ as the reason he committed the crime.

Jordan is accused of killing Ronald Sanchez, Jr., 43, of Oklahoma, and injuring a female hiker on the trail in Wythe County on May 11, 2019.

He is charged with murder within the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States and assault with intent to commit to murder within the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States.

Among the filings last week, it was requested that any psychological examination of Jordan be done locally.

Prosecutors filed a motion on Monday, requesting a custodial sanity evaluation of Jordan. They also stated they opposed that the evaluation be done locally “…and respectfully requests that the Court commit Jordan to the custody of the Attorney General for placement in a suitable facility for evaluation.”

According to the filing, “Here, a custodial examination at a BOP facility is necessary to protect the government’s interest in a full and thorough examination, particularly considering the seriousness of Jordan’s murder charges.”

No ruling has been made yet on the motion.

Jordan’s next court appearance is scheduled for January 7, 2021.

You can read the complete filing below.

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