Crime

Man kills Appalachian Trail hiker with machete weeks after threatening others, cops say

If you witness a crime, here’s what to do

Witnessing a crime and reporting it can be just as frightening as being the victim of a crime. Here’s what you should do if you witness illegal activity. (Nicole L. Cvetnic / McClatchy)
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Witnessing a crime and reporting it can be just as frightening as being the victim of a crime. Here’s what you should do if you witness illegal activity. (Nicole L. Cvetnic / McClatchy)

A 30-year-old man known by the name of “Sovereign” was arrested in connection with a fatal machete attack on the Appalachian Trail in Virginia, WSLS reported.

The attack came a few weeks after the suspect was arrested for threatening and terrorizing AT hikers while yielding a machete in North Carolina and Tennessee, McClatchy reported at the time.

James Jordan, 30, of Massachusetts, faces a federal murder charge and an “assault with the intent to murder” charge after two hikers were attacked by a man with a machete on Saturday morning, a Department of Justice spokesperson said, according to WSLS.

Those charges are expected to be officially filed on Monday morning, WRIC reported.

The two hikers — a man and a woman — were assaulted by a man with a machete on the Appalachian Trail in Virginia, the Wythe County Sheriff’s Office said, according to WBIR.

Police have not said which victim died. The names of the victims have not been reported.

Both “suffered serious knife wounds,” police said, according to The Roanoke Times.

“The first sign of trouble came when two hikers reported to the Bland County Sheriff’s Office that they were threatened early Saturday morning by a man with a machete,” the newspaper reported. “The attack on the other two hikers apparently happened later. Wythe County deputies entered the trail, which runs through western tip of the county, and made an arrest a short time later.”

What led to the attack is still under investigation, WBIR reported. It is not yet known if Jordan knew the victims, according to the TV station.

“I commend local law enforcement in Wythe and Smyth Counties for mobilizing successful rescue and tactical operations in this remote region,” U.S. Attorney Cullen said in a statement, according to WSLS. “Thanks to their efforts, the suspect was safely apprehended and a seriously wounded victim received critical medical care.”

Yosemite National Park search-and-rescue personnel sheltered an injured hiker overnight until a California Highway Patrol helicopter could lift her to safety the next morning.

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