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  1. #161

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    Quote Originally Posted by greenmtnboy View Post
    This sounds like a lot of peevish paranoia to me, what ever happened to "mind your own business" and "forgive and forget"?

    I've never seen such judgmental, intolerant and overly jaundiced hair trigger reactions as exists especially around the AT. Unless you fit into the "good" stereotypes that get left alone, you could easily be wrongly branded and stigmatized by people and reported. Life is full of thousands of types of people, why are people so quick to judge and report stuff?
    I hope all the people who made negative comments in the beginning rethink their comments.

  2. #162
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    Quote Originally Posted by gpburdelljr View Post
    One article said he sent the emergency SOS from his phone. I know you can do that with an iPhone, and probably other phones, but it only works if there is cell service.
    Another alternative is to get a satellite enable GPS device, like the Garmin InReach or SPOT.
    Time is but the stream I go afishin' in.
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  3. #163

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    Quote Originally Posted by imscotty View Post
    I'm afraid the ability for authorities to involuntary commit someone who is showing signs of being mentally ill is severely limited.
    Why is this the case? In Florida, someone can be Baker Acted (held for 3 day evaluation) if he/she is a danger to his/her self or others. All that's needed is approval by a LEO superior .

  4. #164

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    Quote Originally Posted by tenlots View Post
    I hope all the people who made negative comments in the beginning rethink their comments.
    Why do you keep throwing this in my face?

    In the beginning of the thread based on the reporting here which is not a news site, about all we knew about this sicko was that he was a pot smoking drifter with a guitar and dog companion and some type of knife, though reports differed then, obviously someone who was off his rocker and disturbing AT hikers. A report of harassment got strong hiker Ward Leonard (3X thrus in 1 year!) kicked off the trail put in jail and barred from hiking the AT. From what I have seen it has not taken much to get problem hikers bounced from the AT, I don't know how this sicko was able to keep up his spree of threatening behavior. That is what we know now and I did not know then. I reacted initially in a knee jerk way. What else can we do now except offer condolences and any other help possible to those who were attacked and the family of the murder victim.
    Last edited by greenmtnboy; 05-13-2019 at 15:35.


  5. #165

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    Quote Originally Posted by attroll View Post
    I am going to interject in this conversation.
    I have personally been in contact with the deceased hiker’s family and have been informed of some of what actually took place. This is all I will say.
    The deceased hiker was a thru-hiker and had not met the attacker before the intendent. He did not provoke the attacker.

    With that said, please keep in mind when posting in this thread that family and loved ones do sometimes come to WhiteBlaze to read the posts here and it is not helping the healing process for the family and loved ones to read some of the speculation and hearsay that gets posted here. The hiker’s family members have read some of this posts here and it has upset them. I don’t think most of you would be happy if you were in there situation.

    Please keep this I mind and let’s nip this in the butt now. If it does not stop, I will close or even remove the thread for the web site.

    ~The Administration~
    The plea to check the rumors and groundless speculation for the sake of the family is understandable. As far as being in touch with the family - hopefully they reached out to you and you didn't contact them based solely on an association with a special-interest non-news website (and I'd say the same for the Trek.co, /r/AppalachianTrail, BPL, and even the ATC), especially since the encounter added very little to the public understanding of the events.

  6. #166

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    Quote Originally Posted by imscotty View Post
    I'm afraid the ability for authorities to involuntary commit someone who is showing signs of being mentally ill is severely limited.
    While the law varies from state to state it is common for mentally ill inmates to be court ordered to undergo psychiatric evaluation. However, due to the inherent expense, such an evaluation often does not occur in the many areas, especially rural ones. Unicoi County is going to have to shell out millions of dollars because they negligently released a dangerous individual without having said individual evaluated. Unicoi knew Sovereign was dangerous and was displaying signs of schizophrenia. However, Unicoi County simply did not want to deal with the problem.

  7. #167
    Registered User Shooting Star's Avatar
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    Right - a broader context is everything and that seems to have gotten lost here with authorities that had a chance to do something timely. Some of the other AT murders involving disturbed people also have a similar pattern. In this guy's case, he was walking around with a visibly lit fuse and authorities still found a way to not take him out of circulation. Not sure what the answer is since colorful characters are part of what makes the AT what it is - we'll learn something from this one.
    Quote Originally Posted by tdoczi View Post
    in the case of a moving target such as you describe the other issue becomes that the pattern of behavior is not apparent to any one of the agencies that might have had cause to interact with him. if there was such a thing as the "AT police" (not to suggest there should be) they might have been in some sort of position to do something.

  8. #168

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    This appears to have happened at mile 552.3 (2019 AWOL Guide). Anyone have a better guess?

  9. #169

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    While it is hard to make sense of your post. The issue here is Sovereign was arrested for assault weeks before the murder. It is here where Mr. Jordan should have received a psychiatric evaluation by a qualified mental health professional. At that point the circumstances of Mr. Jordan's arrest, along with Mr. Jordan displaying clear signs of schizophrenia, would have necessitated that he be hospitalized. Mr. Jordan would have then received the treatment he needs to not be a danger to society.

    The Unicoi County Sherrif failed to have Mr. Jordan evaluated for competency. Currently, Mr. Jordan has been ordered to undergo such an evaluation by the U.S. District Court in Abingdon, Virginia. Too bad it's only after he killed someone.

  10. #170
    Administrator attroll's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Offshore View Post
    The plea to check the rumors and groundless speculation for the sake of the family is understandable. As far as being in touch with the family - hopefully they reached out to you and you didn't contact them based solely on an association with a special-interest non-news website (and I'd say the same for the Trek.co, /r/AppalachianTrail, BPL, and even the ATC), especially since the encounter added very little to the public understanding of the events.
    The family reached out to me. I would never reach out to anyone in the manner you are speaking of. I can not speak for any other people that have been in contact with the family.
    AT Troll (2010)
    Time does not wait for you, it keeps on rolling.

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  11. #171
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    Quote Originally Posted by greenmtnboy View Post
    That is what we know now and I did not know then.
    I cannot fault you.

    The ATC (among others) constantly reminds the public how very, very safe the AT is. And that informs perceptions.

    In fact, within a very short time of this most recent tragedy they had a spokesman reminding us of just that -- and to bring the point home he remind everyone that the AT sees 3 million visitors a year-- the clear implication being this horrific event is a statistical blip. Could anyone else see that coming?

    Forgetting, of course, that 7 thru hikers (yes, thru hikers) and one long distance section hiker have been murdered on the Trail proper.

    No way to spin those numbers.

    That said, the fairytale that has been painted for so long will endure.

  12. #172

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    Quote Originally Posted by attroll View Post
    The family reached out to me. I would never reach out to anyone in the manner you are speaking of. I can not speak for any other people that have been in contact with the family.
    That's good to hear. Kudos to you for lending support.

  13. #173
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    Being crazy and threatening people with lethal weapons should be enough to detain anyone for quite a while. We routinely lock up people of color for a decade for simple pot possession. The system failed these hikers and Mr Jordan as well. He should have gotten mental help somewhere and a hiker would still be alive. Instead, someone is dead and now we'll get around to spending the same time and money to see what makes Mr Jordan tick. Only now it is as prep for a criminal trial.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sasquatch! View Post
    While it is hard to make sense of your post. The issue here is Sovereign was arrested for assault weeks before the murder. It is here where Mr. Jordan should have received a psychiatric evaluation by a qualified mental health professional. At that point the circumstances of Mr. Jordan's arrest, along with Mr. Jordan displaying clear signs of schizophrenia, would have necessitated that he be hospitalized. Mr. Jordan would have then received the treatment he needs to not be a danger to society.

    The Unicoi County Sherrif failed to have Mr. Jordan evaluated for competency. Currently, Mr. Jordan has been ordered to undergo such an evaluation by the U.S. District Court in Abingdon, Virginia. Too bad it's only after he killed someone.

  14. #174
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    Quote Originally Posted by FreeGoldRush View Post
    This appears to have happened at mile 552.3 (2019 AWOL Guide). Anyone have a better guess?

    here's what the ATC put out about it....


    "(5/12/2019) The Saturday closure of the Appalachian Trail from Va. 16 at Mt. Rogers National Recreation Area Headquarters (mile 534.2) trail north to Va. 42 (mile 558.2) near Ceres/Groseclose has been lifted. "

  15. #175

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Shooting Star View Post
    Being crazy and threatening people with lethal weapons should be enough to detain anyone for quite a while. We routinely lock up people of color for a decade for simple pot possession. The system failed these hikers and Mr Jordan as well. He should have gotten mental help somewhere and a hiker would still be alive. Instead, someone is dead and now we'll get around to spending the same time and money to see what makes Mr Jordan tick. Only now it is as prep for a criminal trial.
    What part of "they declined to press charges" don't you understand? They charged him for what they could with nobody who was willing to press charges. Funny that you inject the race card "simple pot possession" garbage when pot possession is one of the few things they could detain him for.

  16. #176
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sasquatch! View Post
    While the law varies from state to state it is common for mentally ill inmates to be court ordered to undergo psychiatric evaluation. However, due to the inherent expense, such an evaluation often does not occur in the many areas, especially rural ones. Unicoi County is going to have to shell out millions of dollars because they negligently released a dangerous individual without having said individual evaluated. Unicoi knew Sovereign was dangerous and was displaying signs of schizophrenia. However, Unicoi County simply did not want to deal with the problem.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sasquatch! View Post
    While it is hard to make sense of your post. The issue here is Sovereign was arrested for assault weeks before the murder. It is here where Mr. Jordan should have received a psychiatric evaluation by a qualified mental health professional. At that point the circumstances of Mr. Jordan's arrest, along with Mr. Jordan displaying clear signs of schizophrenia, would have necessitated that he be hospitalized. Mr. Jordan would have then received the treatment he needs to not be a danger to society.

    The Unicoi County Sherrif failed to have Mr. Jordan evaluated for competency. Currently, Mr. Jordan has been ordered to undergo such an evaluation by the U.S. District Court in Abingdon, Virginia. Too bad it's only after he killed someone.
    Police possibly could have held him for mental illness examination and involuntary treatment as a danger to himself and others. But they didn't despite at least some evidence to that effect. There is a process for police to do this, starting with this form https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/me...ble%20Form.pdf Why they didn't is anybody's guess, but I'll bet it's not as easy as the form makes it look, and there are significant costs and resources involved.

    Quote Originally Posted by SWODaddy View Post
    What part of "they declined to press charges" don't you understand? They charged him for what they could with nobody who was willing to press charges. Funny that you inject the race card "simple pot possession" garbage when pot possession is one of the few things they could detain him for.
    [EDITS: Note edits to this post after checking TN court rules]There is some confusion expressed here regarding "pressing charges" and such. People/victims can't "press charges". Crimes are prosecuted as "The People vs XXX." It's a criminal case, not a civil one. Victims and witnesses only swear out statements. Police/prosecutors decide if and what charges to bring in a complaint based upon witness/victim statements and other evidence. From what we can figure out, those hikers may have refused to make sworn statements, which makes it much tougher for authorities at a preliminary/probable cause hearing. Now, even if the victims/witnesses refused to make formal statements, police did still have their hearsay evidence from them regarding the shovel assault and knife brandishing which could possibly have been used at a hearing [EDIT: allowed under fed and some states, but not under TN court rules]- but not at a trial. But, knowing that the victims/witnesses wouldn't likely come back or be reluctant to incur the time and expense of doing so (as they were thru-hiking) police/prosecutor perhaps CHOSE not to charge him on the assault and let him plea out to what they could easily get - the three lesser offenses, fine, and probation.

    But, maybe they could have CHOSEN to charge him based on the assault hearsay and other evidence anyway (I don't know the TN law, I'm not a TN lawyer, but hearsay is often admissible at hearings) - and if the judge agreed - kept him locked up longer until he made reasonable bail or if unable, even until the witnesses didn't show for court appearance at trial. [EDIT: I checked and while witness are not required to be present at preliminary hearings under Federal and some states rules, they are in TN]

    The witnesses would haveto be [EDIT: compelled to testify] subpoenaed, located and personally served, likely in another state, somewhere on the AT between Unicoi County and Maine... Probably not a case most rural governments want to spend a lot of money and resources on. Maybe the police/prosecutor did try to charge him for assault, but the judge dismissed the charges for insufficient evidence, or other reasons (like Sovereign acting remorsefully and/or the whole reluctant witness situation). Bringing a case like this would burden financial and other resources for the local courts and police with only little likelihood of success.

    So, sad to say, but I think a lot of why he wasn't locked up, beyond the hikers refusal to swear out statements, was probably governed by financial and manpower considerations. [EDIT: and that at this point, while what happened was an assault (with weapon), no one had been injured yet, just really scared. Pretty tough for LE to justify going to extreme measures when there weren't any physical injuries.]



    There are some other questions that should be asked: How much was the fine in Unicoi Cty., and how did he paid it? Because he was reported by hikers not to have much if any money. After getting out, a shuttle driver bought him a bus ticket to get him home to MA. He obviously didn't get there. Did he get thrown off the bus or get off on his own further up the trail? Did he ever get on the bus? Did the ticket get refunded in total or partially (he needed money)? There was some well meaning, but misplaced, enabling going on as well.
    Last edited by 4eyedbuzzard; 05-14-2019 at 06:50.

  17. #177
    Registered User Shooting Star's Avatar
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    The hikers declined to press charges for the threats, assault, whatever, but the local authorities had him on some possession changes,
    so local authorities (including the Judicial system) could have used this to hold on to an obviously dangerous person and get a psych eval
    done before cutting him loose on the world.

    My point about the race comment is that we lock up people all the time for non-trivial sentences when we want to.
    I this case, we could have used other charges to do the right thing and protect the public from a troubled man. We chose
    not to - why? I'm not suggesting race was why, I think it was a time and money issue by law enforcement in a county
    with a lot of good people in it that is hard strapped for resources.

    My bigger point is that this guy was an obvious time bomb waiting to cook off and any law enforcement that encountered
    him once he showed up on the AT needs to reconsider policy in these type of cases. This one was 100% preventable and
    the public was poorly served in my opinion.

    Quote Originally Posted by SWODaddy View Post
    What part of "they declined to press charges" don't you understand? They charged him for what they could with nobody who was willing to press charges. Funny that you inject the race card "simple pot possession" garbage when pot possession is one of the few things they could detain him for.

  18. #178

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4eyedbuzzard View Post
    Police possibly could have held him for mental illness examination and involuntary treatment as a danger to himself and others. But they didn't despite at least some evidence to that effect. There is a process for police to do this, starting with this form https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/me...ble%20Form.pdf Why they didn't is anybody's guess, but I'll bet it's not as easy as the form makes it look, and there are significant costs and resources involved.

    There is some confusion expressed here regarding "pressing charges" and such. People/victims can't "press charges". Crimes are prosecuted as "The People vs XXX." It's a criminal case, not a civil one. Victims and witnesses only swear out statements. Police/prosecutors decide if and what charges to bring in a complaint based upon witness/victim statements and other evidence. From what we can figure out, those hikers may have refused to make sworn statements, which makes it much tougher for authorities at a preliminary/probable cause hearing. Now, even if the victims/witnesses refused to make formal statements, police did still have their hearsay evidence from them regarding the shovel assault and knife brandishing which could possibly have been used at a hearing - but not at a trial. But, knowing that the victims/witnesses wouldn't likely come back or be reluctant to incur the time and expense of doing so (as they were thru-hiking) police/prosecutor perhaps CHOSE not to charge him on the assault and let him plea out to what they could easily get - the three lesser offenses, fine, and probation.

    But, maybe they could have CHOSEN to charge him on the assault based upon the hearsay and other evidence anyway (I don't know, I'm not a TN lawyer) - and if the judge agreed - kept him locked up longer until he made reasonable bail or if unable, even until the witnesses didn't show for court appearance at trial. The witnesses would have to be subpoenaed, located and personally served, likely in another state, somewhere on the AT between Unicoi County and Maine... Probably not a case most rural governments want to spend a lot of money and resources on. Maybe the police/prosecutor did try to charge him for assault, but the judge dismissed the charges for insufficient evidence, or other reasons (like Sovereign acting remorsefully and/or the whole reluctant witness situation). Bringing a case like this would burden financial and other resources for the local courts and police with only little likelihood of success.

    So, sad to say, but I think a lot of why he wasn't locked up, beyond the hikers refusal to swear out statements, was probably governed by financial and manpower considerations.



    There are some other questions that should be asked: How much was the fine in Unicoi Cty., and how did he paid it? Because he was reported by hikers not to have much if any money. After getting out, a shuttle driver bought him a bus ticket to get him home to MA. He obviously didn't get there. Did he get thrown off the bus or get off on his own further up the trail? Did he ever get on the bus? Did the ticket get refunded in total or partially (he needed money)? There was some well meaning, but misplaced, enabling going on as well.
    Mr. Jordan pleaded guilty to multiple crimes. As a condition of his probation and/or release the judge should have ordered he undergo a psychiatric evaluation. The court has wide latitude in this regard. Instead they basically let him go without any stipulations. It is likely many employees of Unicoi County recognized how severely Ill Mr. Jordan is, and simply did not want to deal with it. So, they turned him loose to become someone else's problem, which he quickly did.

  19. #179

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shooting Star View Post
    The hikers declined to press charges for the threats, assault, whatever, but the local authorities had him on some possession changes,
    so local authorities (including the Judicial system) could have used this to hold on to an obviously dangerous person and get a psych eval
    done before cutting him loose on the world.

    My point about the race comment is that we lock up people all the time for non-trivial sentences when we want to.
    I this case, we could have used other charges to do the right thing and protect the public from a troubled man. We chose
    not to - why? I'm not suggesting race was why, I think it was a time and money issue by law enforcement in a county
    with a lot of good people in it that is hard strapped for resources.

    My bigger point is that this guy was an obvious time bomb waiting to cook off and any law enforcement that encountered
    him once he showed up on the AT needs to reconsider policy in these type of cases. This one was 100% preventable and
    the public was poorly served in my opinion.
    So... you have an irrational understanding proven false by the circumstances of the case (he wasn't detained for a lengthy period for possession), but you wish they violared his rights anyways because....reasons?

  20. #180

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