PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) - The man convicted of convicted of killing two men and injuring another on a MAX train more than three years ago will be sentenced on Wednesday.
Jeremy Christian was convicted on Feb. 21 on all 12 counts against him, including two charges of first-degree murder. Other charges included attempted murder, assault, intimidation, unlawful use of a weapon and menacing.
Christian was convicted for the May 2017 stabbings of Ricky John Best, 53, of Happy Valley, and Taliesin Myrddin Namkai-Meche, 23, of Portland. Micah David-Cole Fletcher was also stabbed, and survived the attack.
Witness testimony began at around 11 a.m. Tuesday with Demetria Hester taking the stand, who says Christian verbally assaulted and threw a Gatorade bottle at her on a MAX train the day before the stabbings.
In her victim statement, Hester accused the power structure in Portland of racism.
"In my case, the white supremacist got special treatment from the police. The police officer believed the assault was made by the assailant. He didn't believe me or the two TriMet supervisors," said Hester. "He refused to detain the assailant and he let him walk away knowing who he was. The officer asked me for my ID and treated me like I was the assailant because of my color."
Hester also addressed Christian personally, ending her statement by saying "when you die and go to hell, I hope you rot."
Christian reacted by shouting at Hester, yelling violent threats and aggressively removing his face covering.
As he was taken out of the courtroom, Christian yelled "I should've killed you, b****."
Judge Cheryl Albrecht ordered Christian out of the courtroom after his outburst and he was restricted from sitting in on further testimony from victims and their family members, including the son and brother of deadly stabbing victim Ricky Best.
However, victims’ advocates for the Namkai-Meche family and Micah Fletcher, the sole surviving victim of the stabbings, asked the judge to allow Christian back into the courtroom so he could hear their remarks.
Ultimately, the judge decided to move him into another space where he wouldn’t be able to disrupt the proceedings, but could still hear remarks. Victims could also see him, but were unable to hear anything he said.
Tuesday afternoon, the court heard from Taliesin Namkai-Meche’s mother and sisters. One sister cried while she said Christian not only committed crimes of murder, but also robbery for taking her brother from her.
Shawn Forde, one of the people who stood up to Christian the day of the attacks, also delivered his impact statement before being interrupted because the court video feed dropped. He talked about Christian being protected by a racist system. He was asked to come back Wednesday.
There were more than a dozen victims and their families who wished to speak, both in person and virtually, but the court could not get to them all before 5 p.m. Micah Fletcher is expected to read a statement Wednesday, when Christian’s fate will also be handed down.
Copyright 2020 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.