James Jordan, Accused of Fatally Stabbing Hiker on the Appalachian Trail, Deemed Not Fit For Trial

30-year-old James Jordan, accused of fatally stabbing Robert Sanchez and injuring another hiker on the Appalachian Trail on May 11, has been deemed not fit for trial. Magistrate Judge Pamela Sargent ruled in US District Court in Abingdon, VA, on July 3 that Jordan does not meet the legal standard of competency.

Jordan underwent a court-ordered psychiatric evaluation, the results of which have not been made public.

Jordan will now be transferred to a federal mental health facility, where he will be treated and could undergo further evaluation. If it is decided at a later date that he meets the standards of competency, the case could then go to trial.

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Jordan is accused of the May 11 stabbing attack on the Appalachian Trail. Jordan had been previously reported to authorities for causing disturbances on the trail, and was ordered to stay away from the Appalachian Trail corridor. In the early-morning hours of May 11, Jordan approached a group of northbound hikers who had set up camp along the trail in Wyeth County, VA. He threatened the hikers, two of whom fled northbound on the trail. Jordan pursued the hikers, then returned to the site and confronted the remaining pair of hikers.

After a verbal confrontation, Jordan stabbed Sanchez, then pursed the unidentified female hiker as she fled the scene. Jordan left the scene after stabbing the female hiker. Law enforcement arrived at the scene of the attack a little after 6 a.m. on May 11, locating Sanchez’s body as well as a large knife in close proximity. They then located Jordan near the scene.

The full affidavit can be found here.


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Comments 14

  • Donnie Brasco : Jul 3rd

    They better execute this guy. I met a Uber driver in Virginia that said he picked up and took him to the trail. If this guy can use Uber and get rides to the trail to go and murder somebody, he’s fit for trial and should be removed from this world. It’s unbelievable how this country has given up on the value of the sanctity of life. Murderers go free, women kill babies, this is sick time we live in.

    • Sebastien : Jul 5th

      “It’s unbelievable how this country has given up on the value of the sanctity of life”.
      In the same paragraphe: “They better execute this guy.”
      I don’t know how serious that murderer psychiatric issues are. But yours, looks pretty serious…

      • Donnie Brasco : Jul 5th

        Murderers give up their right to life when they take another persons life from them. Executing this man is justice, he’s not incompetent. He took the most precious thing that Stronghold had from him, and forfeited his life when he took that action.
        This would uphold the sanctity of life. Murderers do not have the right to life.

        • Scott Durkin : Jul 5th

          Um… your logic is flawed. You can choose the sanctity of all life OR you can call for the execution of this man (fit for trial or not). You cannot have it both ways.

          • Donnie Brasco : Jul 5th

            No it’s not. Justice is required in this case, not mercy.

        • Pony : Jul 8th

          Re “… he’s not incompetent.”

          So, you have arrogated to yourself expertise greater than the *actual* experts who evaluated this man over the last two months? You, Donnie Brasco, in your infinite armchair wisdom, are a better judge of this than they are?

          That about right?

          • Donnie Brasco : Jul 8th

            I was hiking the trail while he was on it he was about 8 – 30 miles behind me depending on how much mileage I did that day. Luckily I never encountered him but got regular updates from people I was camping around that had encountered him.

            The fact is that he killed someone. He went to the Appalachian trail to kill someone. He was taken off the Appalachian trail and given a bus ticket home and he went back to the trail to kill someone. I met a man in Waynesboro who was an Uber driver, that drove him back to the trail. The guy ubered a ride man. He is able to make decisions to get back to the trail to kill. Whether he is deemed deranged or not it doesn’t matter, he killed someone. He took a life. He took the most precious thing Stronghold had and would’ve taken the girls life too had she not played dead. The right thing to do is execute him because otherwise he’s gonna end up back in society murdering more people. If you don’t believe it happens read about Randall Lee Smith.

            Of course if you think he’s okay when they release him back to society, go pick him up and he can babysit your children.

      • Citizen : Jul 5th

        A suggestion. One way you can look at capitol punishment is as the as the ancient Hebrews saw it: Human life is so precious that the only thing a murder has that is precious enough to atone for the life he has taken is his own.

        Another way one can look capitol punishment is the concept of rendering yourself unfit. In the military you are not allowed to “render yourself unfit for duty”. In the same way a murder by his own actions renders himself unfit to live in society.

        The philosophical basises of capitol punishment are well established in both secular and religious positions for some 2 millennia of Western Civilization. The same can be said of the opposite view

        The wide spread acceptance of the notion that there is a contradiction between being pro life and pro capitol punishment is a comparitively new phonomena.

        So I don’t think it is appropriate to say someone is psychiatrically deranged for articulating what until just recently was the dominant historical position.

    • Adam : Jul 8th

      “Murderers go free, women kill babies, this is sick time we live in.”

      What the hell are you talking about?!? Murderers are regularly prosecuted the same as they always have and violent crime is at an all time low. This sudden epidemic of women murdering babies…..I have no idea where you got that from.

      • Donnie Brasco : Jul 8th

        Vernon Tatum, Randall Lee Smith, are a couple names there’s more if you do a google search. Abortions.

        • DebCG : Jul 18th

          Until the Dr tells you your fetus has no brain ….you have no concept of abortion.

  • Mike : Jul 6th

    Unfortunately, there is a good chance that if he is released or escapes he will return to the AT and attack someone else (as Randall Lee Smith did). Being in the mental health system, release or escape is (in my opinion) more likely.

    • Citizen : Jul 6th

      You may be correct. Hard to say if he will be judged competent. This is just more frosting on the cake of judicial incompetence. Judges have made it too hard to committ the mentally ill. As I have said before, I bet there is a record of friends and family begging to have this guy committed but he did not meet the requirements of IMMEDIATE danger to self or others. If the standard was danger to self or others in the reasonably foreseeable future the we would not be here now. I will be there were plenty of Jordan’s friends and family that saw this coming.

  • Rascan : Dec 28th

    watch this video around minute 11:40 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=muHIYSK-044&lc=z22fxxdwhn3ecfx1cacdp433t5is32uhfvvjea4xck5w03c010c.1577583534718144

    Are these the couple ( He threatened the hikers, two of whom fled northbound on the trail )


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