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Hiker stabbed on Appalachian Trail, played dead to fool attacker, court documents reveal

Jordan threatened four hikers before stabbing two of them, documents show

ABINGDON, Va. – The 30-year-old man accused of killing one Appalachian Trail hiker, attacking another and threatening two more made his first court appearance Monday.

James Jordan, of West Yarmouth, Massachusetts, arrived at federal court in Abingdon, Virginia in handcuffs and leg chains, according to WCYB.

During Monday's proceedings, Jordan indicated he understood the charges against him, and he will now undergo a psychiatric evaluation to determine his competency to stand trial and his sanity.

Jordan also expressed concern for his dog, which WCYB reports is now being held at a no-kill shelter in Wytheville. Jordan is allowed to make arrangements for a family member to retrieve the dog.

Court documents show Jordan approached four Appalachian Trail hikers on Friday in Smyth County.

He was acting "disturbed and unstable" and was singing and playing guitar, according to the documents.

Once the group of four hikers made camp further north in Wythe County, Jordan reportedly approached their tents and threatened to pour gas on the tents and burn the hikers to death.

Court documents show that due to Jordan's threats, the four decided to leave the campsite.

As they attempted to leave, Jordan approached them with a knife and two hikers escaped, court documents show.

Jordan stabbed one of the other two and chased after the fourth hiker who he also stabbed multiple times, according to court documents.

After being stabbed, court documents say she played dead, which is when Jordan left her to try and find his dog.

Once Jordan left, the victim who played dead then took the trail into Smyth County, received help 6 miles into the county and called 911, according to court documents.

Wythe County authorities say officers found Jordan at the campsite where the initial attack began and took him into custody.

Jordan had blood stains on his clothes, according to authorities.

The first stabbing victim was found at the campsite and pronounced dead at the scene, according to court documents.

Jordan faced charges after a separate altercation on the Appalachian Trail in April, during which he was accused of threatening hikers in North Carolina and Tennessee. He is also known by his trail name, “Sovereign.”


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