Jeremy Christian sentenced to life in prison in Oregon train murders

June 24 (UPI) -- A judge on Wednesday sentenced Jeremy Christian to spend the rest of his life in prison without parole after he was convicted in the murders of two passengers on a train in Portland, Ore., in May 2017.

Multnomah County Circuit Judge Cheryl Albrecht sentenced Christian, 38, to two consecutive life sentences on charges of first-degree murder in the deaths of Taliesin Namkai-Meche, 23, and Ricky Best, 53.


Albrecht also sentenced Christian to 25 additional years in prison for other crimes including attempted first-degree murder of 24-year-old Micah Fletcher, who survived after Christian stabbed him in the neck, and multiple hate crimes leading up to and during the incident on the train.

"I'm hoping you're able to accept your responsibility one day," Albrecht said.

Christian was found guilty in February on 12 counts, including first-degree murder, attempted murder, assault, intimidation, unlawful use of a weapon and menacing for stabbing multiple people on a Metropolitan Area Express light-rail train.

Portland police Sgt. Pete Simpson said Christian was "ranting and raving" about topics that would be characterized as hate speech, including directing comments at a black teenager and her friend, an immigrant from Somalia who was wearing a hijab.


Evidence presented at the trial stated that Christian swatted Namkai-Meche's phone to the floor after he attempted to record the rant and Fletcher responded by shoving Christian and telling him to get off the train.

Christian then stabbed Namkai-Meche and Fletcher as well as Best who was standing nearby.

Fletcher delivered an impact statement, along with members of the other victims' families, in which he described being unable to sleep or confidently go out in public following the attack.

"There is not a room in this world that I can enter without at least scanning it first to decide who the person is who is most likely to hurt me," he said.

Christian also delivered a statement from a remote location after he was barred from the courtroom after threatening a victim to make a statement, screaming he wished he'd killed her.

He said he regreted that Namkai-Meche and Best died but said he ultimately did not regret his actions, saying that he acted in self-defense while alleging Fletcher was the aggressor and describing his conviction as "laughable."

"I did not commit an act of violence against anyone on that train," Christian said.

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