Man charged in Appalachian Trail attacks competent for trial

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James Jordan (Photo: SW Virginia Regional Jail)

ABINGDON, Va. (AP) — A Massachusetts man accused of killing an Appalachian Trail hiker and attacking another with a machete in Virginia last year has been declared competent to stand trial.

The Bristol Herald Courier reports that U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Pamela Sargent reviewed the findings of mental health evaluators and ruled Thursday that the case against James Jordan can proceed.

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Jordan, of West Yarmouth, Massachusetts, was arrested in May 2019 and charged with murder and assault after two hikers were attacked on the trail in southwestern Virginia.

He is accused of killing Ronald Sanchez Jr., 43, of Oklahoma, and injuring a Canadian woman.