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FBI: hiker acted ‘unstable’ before murder

By MELINDA WILLIAMS

melinda@southwesttimes.com

WYTHE COUNTY — A Massachusetts man charged with fatally stabbing a hiker on the Appalachian Trail in Wythe County Saturday was “acting disturbed and unstable,” singing and playing a guitar, prior to the attack, according to an FBI agent involved in the investigation.

Special Agent Micah J. Childers states in an affidavit on file in U.S. District Court that James Louis Jordan, 30, of West Yarmouth, Mass. met four hikers on the trail in Smyth County Friday. In the early morning hours Saturday, Jordan is alleged to have stabbed two of the hikers, seriously wounding a female, whose identity hasn’t been released, and killing a male, identified as Ronald S. Sanchez Jr., 43, of Oklahoma.

Two other hikers escaped.

According to the affidavit, Jordan, who uses the name “Sovereign,” had a reputation among Appalachian Trail hikers for being a “suspicious person,” partly because of a confrontation he had on the trail in Unicoi County, Tenn., last month.

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