Federal officials ask for more time to treat accused Appalachian Trail murderer


ABINGDON, Va. (WJHL) – Officials from the Federal Bureau of Prisons are requesting more time from the federal court to “restore… to competency” the man accused of fatally stabbing one person and injuring another on the Appalachian Trail last year.

James 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.

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Jordan was admitted to the Mental Health Unit of FMC-Butner on October 1.

According to documents filed Tuesday in the United State District Court, Western District of Virginia, “This matter is before the court on the request of the Bureau of Prisons for an extension of time to continue treating the defendant in an effort to restore the defendant to competency.”

Magistrate Judge Pamela Meade Sargent agreed to give the Bureau of Prisons 120 more days in the “period of restoration.” She also stated that:

“…the treating psychiatrist or psychologist shall report his/her findings to this court as to the following:
a. Whether the defendant is suffering from a mental disease or defect rendering him mentally incompetent to the extent that he is unable to understand the nature and consequences of the proceedings against him or assist properly in his defense; and
b. If so, whether there is a substantial probability that in the foreseeable future the defendant will attain the capacity to permit his trial to proceed.”


She also ruled that the U.S. Marshals Service “shall not” bring Jordan back to the district until ordered so by the court.

Click here to read the full document.

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