Insanity defense planned in Appalachian Trail killing

Published: Sep. 23, 2020 at 3:21 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A Massachusetts man charged with killing an Appalachian Trail hiker and attacking another with a hunting knife in Virginia plans to use an insanity defense at his trial.

James Jordan of West Yarmouth, Massachusetts, is scheduled to go on trial in January.

The 31-year-old is accused of fatally stabbing 43-year-old Ronald Sanchez Jr., of Oklahoma City, and wounding a female hiker in May 2019. Jordan’s attorneys filed a notice in federal court this week saying they intend to use an insanity defense.

Jordan has a history of mental illness. He was originally declared incompetent to stand trial. But a judge in June found that he is now competent and the case can proceed.

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