UPDATE: Judge responds to accused AT killer’s request for no sanity evaluation

james jordan

UPDATE (4:30 p.m., May 15) The federal judge has responded to the accused Appalachian Trail killer’s request to not undergo a sanity evaluation.

READ MORE: Court documents reveal what happened leading up to AT murder

In a court filing dated May 15, Magistrate Judge Pamela Meade Sargent ruled the order for sanity and competency evaluations of James Jordan be amended. The order will no longer include the sanity evaluation.

Sargent also wrote that the defense counsel has one week to “provide further information to the court with regard to counsel’s request that the defendant’s competency evaluation be conducted locally.”

The filing also revealed that the U.S. Marshals Service will not move Jordan from the Western District of Virginia until ordered by the court. 

Judge Sargent has set a telephone conference call regarding the motion for May 21st.

ORIGINAL STORY (POSTED 10:40 a.m., May 15) New court documents reveal the man accused of stabbing one hiker to death and severely injuring another on the Appalachian Trail in Wythe County, does not intend to use a defense of insanity.

The motion was filed with the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia on May 13.

According to the document, James Jordan, 30, of West Yarmouth, Mass., objects to the order of a sanity evaluation. The motion, filed by his public defender, states that a sanity evaluation is only permitted if “the defendant intends to rely on the defense of insanity.”

According to the filing, the attorneys for the government don’t object to that portion of the motion. However, they are objecting to Jordan’s request for a local competency evaluation.

The filing shows Jordan’s lawyer is arguing for the competency evaluation to be done locally. They claim it would “prevent delay and expense in transporting” Jordan to an available Bureau of Prisons facility for the evaluation. The Federal Public Defender’s Office state it would pay for the competency evaluation due to “the severity of the charges.”

According to clerks for the court, Magistrate Judge Pamela Meade Sargent has yet to make a ruling on the request.

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