A Massachusetts man attacked two hikers with a machete in a “senseless and brutal” attack on the Appalachian Trail, killing one and severely injuring another, federal authorities said.
James L. Jordan, 30, of West Yarmouth, was arrested early Saturday on one count of murder and one count of assault after the fatal stabbing attack along a remote section of the 2,190-mile trail in Wythe County, according to the US Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Virginia.
Wythe County Sheriff Keith Dunagan told WSLS that Jordan – who is known along the trail as “Sovereign” – attacked a man and a woman with a machete while hiking early Saturday as they walked near Crawfish Road.
Jordan, while accompanied by a dog, had earlier threatened a group of four hikers late Friday, but two managed to escape and reached sheriff’s deputies in nearby Bland County. The two other hikers then fled south, but Jordan allegedly attacked them after chasing them down, Dunagan told the Roanoke Times.
The male victim, who later died, managed to trigger an SOS signal on his phone, alerting deputies to his location near the Mount Rogers National Recreation Area. The female victim