Jury selection began yesterday in the trial of Jeremy Christian, the man accused of stabbing three men, killing two of them, on a Portland MAX train.
In May of 2017, Ricky John Best, 53, and Taliesin Myrddin Namkai Meche, 23, attempted to intervene when Christian yelled hate speech and decapitation threats at two female teenage passengers KPTV reported. The passengers were African American and Muslim, the latter wearing a hijab. Police say that’s when Christian stabbed and killed the two men.
The third man, Michael David-Cole Fletcher, 21, survived the stabbing.
KPTV reported that Christian was previously convicted of multiple felonies, including “first-degree robbery, second-degree kidnapping and unlawful use of a dangerous weapon in 2002.” At the time of his arrest, however, Christian had no pending criminal cases.
Since there is video evidence, police recordings and witnesses, criminal defense lawyer John Henry Hingson told Fox 12 that the trial is not a “who-dunnit,” but a “why-dunnit.”
“It’s all mental,” Hingson, who is not affiliated with the case but is familiar with it, said.
The judge is considering whether to allow the jury to see video evidence of prior to the attack, where Christian is seen shouting racial epithets.
Court filings quote police recordings with the arrested Christian expressing no remorse.
“I hope they all die,” Christian said. “I’m gonna say that on the stand. I’m a patriot, and I hope everyone I stabbed died.”
Christian does not face the death penalty in Oregon but could get life in prison without the possibility of parole, the maximum legal sentence if convicted.
Opening statements will begin Jan. 28, KGW8 reports.
AsAmNews has Asian America in its heart. We’re an all-volunteer effort of dedicated staff and interns. Check out our new Instagram account. Go to our Twitter feed and Facebook page for more content. Please consider interning, joining our staff, or submitting a story.